Release date: 21 December 2022
The go-ahead has been given for speed limit policy changes which will help vulnerable road users and make active travel choices more attractive in West Sussex.
The changes, approved today by Joy Dennis, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, following a review led by Tom Richardson, county councillor for Rother Valley and advisor on road safety to the Cabinet Member, include:
- The intended use of a road will become the key feature in deciding an appropriate speed limit - emphasis will be on the mix of vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians first and then motorised traffic
- An option for lower speed limits on rural roads, or those used as walking and cycling routes in quieter traffic (known as ‘quiet ways’)
- Making it easier for 20mph limits to be introduced outside schools, where appropriate, and provides new guidance
- Greater flexibility in deciding an appropriate speed limit and opportunity to discuss and debate where it isn’t clear what speed limit is appropriate
Joy said: “There have been significant changes in the Highway Code to help pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians and our revised speed limit policy dovetails perfectly with this, focusing on helping vulnerable road users by making active travel choices more attractive.
“Higher speed limits that are normally applied to rural roads are also addressed in the policy changes. This will assist in the national drive for increased levels of active travel: by encouraging more walking and cycling, we can help to cut congestion, reduce carbon emissions, help improve people’s health and wellbeing and support the local economy.
“Active Travel is one of the key aspects of the West Sussex Transport Plan 2022 – 2036 , which underpins the Council’s approach to improving the transport network and dovetails with Our Council Plan.”
If a community identifies support for a speed limit change – including the support of the local County Councillor – it will be considered via the existing Community Highway Scheme process. Speed limit changes could also be made in support of an individual road safety or other highway improvement scheme, as prioritised by the County Council.
The policy changes are subject to the council’s usual call-in period.
Pictured: close-up of signs: Speed limit policy changes in West Sussex will help vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, pedestrians, and equestrians