Essex: Policy review is a result of ‘residents’ concerns around speeding’

SPEED limit reductions on Essex’s roads could be easier for residents to achieve in future.

Essex County Council has announced plans to carry out a review of its current speed management policy on the introduction of new speed limits.

Derrick Louis, cabinet member for highways and transportation at Essex County Council, said he had asked for the review in response to “genuine public concerns” around speeding and road safety.

Currently, the policy is based on Department for Transport guidelines which were prescriptive, Mr Louis said, so the aim was to introduce a policy that is “more flexible” so the county council can respond to the needs of communities and highway users.

He said: “I have been a cabinet member since early May and certainly quite a number of issues that people have written to me about is wanting, predominantly, to reduce speed limits in either their local towns or villages.”

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He said it had been a combination of wanting to reduce the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph around schools and in the centre of villages as well the national speed limit [on single carriageways] to 40mph.

“It is a big issue and, in a similar way as we did with repairing potholes, we have listened to residents and we are responding to their concerns.”

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Residents can make a formal application to have a speed limit reduced.

Mr Louis said: “The reason we are doing the review of the policy is to make it more flexible, pragmatic and to make sure it can be implemented in a cost-effective manner.”

He expected recommendations would be made in the New Year.

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