ROADS CHIEFS have given the green light to controversial 20mph limits across Hampshire.

The lower speed limits will be introduced as part of a pilot scheme involving ten neighbourhoods costing £238,000.

Among the areas targeted are at Cherbourg Road and surrounding streets in Eastleigh , Hythe , and Wallington in Fareham .

Also earmarked for the scheme are Stanmore, Highcliffe and Winnall in Winchester . The first schemes will start in spring 2013.

The aim is to assess if 20mph limits improve road safety and quality of life in residential streets as they are often requested by residents’ groups and councillors.

The “Residential 20” trial was approved by environment and transport chief Councillor Mel Kendal last Tuesday.

The Tory deputy council leader said: “In the autumn we will be sending out questionnaires to complete and return to us, so that we know the views of local people. Department for Transport guidance states that generally 20mph speed limits should be self-enforcing.

“The police are unlikely to treat enforcement as a priority in residential 20mph areas and so we will need the support of residents through their participation in Community Speed Watch programmes.”

The proposed pilot sites range from densely-populated urban areas to small rural villages and towns. Success will be measured by changes in speed before and after the 20mph limit is introduced.

The council says public perception is also important and this will be assessed with further surveys of residents.

Some organisations and individuals have questioned the effectiveness of 20mph limits. Portsmouth introduced a city-wide 20mph limit in 2007 but an analysis found it had not cut the number of accidents.