30 mph speed limit proposed

Hampshire County Council is proposing a speed limit reduction from 40 to 30mph on the main A3023, between New Cut and Mill Rythe roundabout.

This is actually a huge road safety improvement, and we should make sure it doesn’t get shouted down by the vocal minority. Some facts :

  1. It’s not ‘plucked out of the air’, it’s part of a national programme by the Department for Transport to reduce traffic casualties.
  2. Hampshire County Council were required by law to review speed limits on their most accident-prone roads – they picked the top 140.
  3. Ours ranks about 50th most dangerous in the whole county, with an average of 6 collisions and 1 fatality/serious injury per year.
  4. It was also one of the busiest, with an average of 18,399 movements per day.
  5. It fails many DfT guidelines for a 40 mph road, and has barely changed since the 1950’s, when the population of Hayling was a quarter of now, and traffic was a tenth, and inherently much slower.
  6. The road and pavements are narrow, and pass through residential and shopping areas, with several difficult junctions. Crossing the road is frightening for anyone, let alone children or the aged or infirm.
  7. Cyclists also find it pretty intimidating, and many journeys have no easy alternative route.
  8. At 40 mph, hit pedestrians are 4 times as likely to die compared to 30 mph (DfT).
What difference would 30 mph make to drivers?
  • The whole section is 2 miles.
  • At 30 mph, it would take 4 minutes
  • At 40 mph, it would take 3 minutes, IF YOU COULD DO 40 MPH through the S bends, and meet no other traffic.
  • In reality, you would be lucky to save more than 10 or 20 seconds, driving legally.
  • TomTom satnav estimates a saving of FIVE SECONDS.

Five to 20 seconds extra is a tiny price to pay to save 1 life or serious injury a year.

The goals of the DfT speed limit review were to :
  1. set speed limits that are evidence led, clear, consistent and reinforce the public’s assessment of a safe speed to travel;
  2. assist with reductions in collision frequency and severity;
  3. manage speed in a way that is appropriate for the road function, social needs and local characteristics; and
  4. serve the needs of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians, as well as the drivers and riders of motorised vehicles.
It would be irresponsible not to implement this clear safety measure.
Please write to Hampshire County Council to support this important safety improvement, quoting reference:- C700/MB by 7 March 2014.
STUART JARVIS, Director of Economy, Transport and Environment, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UD, email: public.notices@hants.gov.uk
All objections must state the grounds on which they are made. The order, if made, will be known as “The Hampshire (A3023 Havant and Hayling Island) (Restricted Road and 40 Miles Per Hour Speed Limit) Order 2014.”

2 Replies to “30 mph speed limit proposed”

  1. Any speed limit reduction is very welcome. We call the stretch from the Mill Rythe roundabout to the Yew Tree Death Alley and always use the pavement. it is still pretty scarey to consider what would happen if you fell into the road.

    On another note, can anyone beat my record of EIGHT punctures in just over a thousand miles, mainly off-road on Hayling? Is it true as a rufeul cyclist said to me recently that Hayling Island is Puncture HQ in Hampshire?

  2. Two interesting concerns were raised about this 30 mph limit :

    1) Drivers might be confused by the mix of 30 and 40 mph speed limits (not that this is new – there are already plenty around the island).
    2) Traffic would seek out the 40 mph ‘rat-runs’ such as West Lane, which is another scary road to drive on (let alone cycle on).

    Both of these concerns could be eliminated at a stroke, of course – by reducing all 40 mph limits on the island to 30. Given the accidents on West Lane over the years, that would seem a sensible idea to me.

    The question is ‘Should Cycle Hayling campaign for that’? If so, should we start now, or wait to see how the new limit works out?

    We’re all car drivers as well as cyclists, so we can see both sides of the argument.

    Maybe something to discuss at the next meeting or AGM?

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