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We're considering testing a new 20mph speed limit zone in Copthorne and Porthill, Shrewsbury.
In late 2021, we asked for your views on a proposal to introduce a 'liveable neighbourhood' trial in Copthorne and Porthill. We used two surveys (which received nearly 1000 responses combined) as well as a number of drop-in sessions and neighbourhood walkabouts to understand both an overall view of residents in relation to the proposals as well as more detailed feedback on different elements within the proposal. Although there wasn't quite enough support to introduce a liveable neighbourhood, there was strong support in the community (83%) to address the existing speed and volume of traffic on your streets through the introduction of a 20mph speed limit.
The aim of the 20mph speed limit zone is to bring average speeds down closer to 20mph through trialling low-cost measures such as signage, road markings, gateway features, planters on street corners and pedestrian build-outs and crossings to show drivers that they're travelling through a community and encouraging them to slow down.
If the trial goes ahead, speeds across the area will be monitored as part of the pilot and will be used to inform whether the trial should be implemented in the area on a permanent basis, and whether further measures are required.
We'll also develop a communications strategy that will deliver the message ‘slower is safer’, and will work with West Mercia Police to encourage the community to get involved in initiatives such as Community Speed Watch and Operation Snap.
Why this area?
The proposal seeks to introduce a 20mph speed limit, replacing the existing 30mph speed limit on the residential roads within (and inclusive of) The Mount (A458) - from its junction with Richmond Road), the whole length of Porthill Road (A488) and (but not including) Shelton Road (See map attached). New St (A488) had a 20mph speed limit order approved in April 2022.
Porthill and Copthorne have been chosen to be test areas for a 20mph speed limit zone for the following reasons:
1. It is primarily residential but has roads with high daily traffic volumes and speeds
Porthill and Copthorne are largely residential areas both within easy walking and cycling distance of Shrewsbury town centre. However, this also means that many motorists use key roads in the area as a cut-through in order to avoid main roads. Reducing the speed of traffic through the area will create a safer and more pleasant environment for residents, pedestrians and cyclists.
2. There is evidence of traffic incidents or potential dangers
Over the last five years (2016 – 2021), 25 road traffic accidents have been reported in the area resulting in 32 casualties. 56% of these casualties were pedestrians and cyclists. There is overwhelming evidence that lower speeds result in fewer collisions and a reduced severity of injuries. (See attached appendix 4 of cabinet report for further information).
3. There are two schools in the area
Fear of motor traffic leads many parents to drive their children to school. A 20mph speed limit zone can play an important part in tackling road danger at source, which can lead to more parents allowing children to travel to school by bike or on foot, and fewer cars on the road.
4. Linkages into the wider cycling network
Both areas contain roads that link into the wider cycle network – National Cycle Network 81. It's important that we provide for a logical connection, suitable for cyclists of all abilities, between the established cycleway on Shelton Rd and the Quarry as a key route into Shrewbury town centre. We're currently developing a local cycling and walking infrastructure plan (LCWIP) which identifies the work that needs to be done to provide a fully connected cycle network for Shrewsbury.
Funding for the scheme
Funding is provided through the Active Travel Fund Tranche 2, which was formerly administered by the Department for Transport.
How motorists will know they're in a 20mph area
Large ‘gateway’ signs will mark the entrance and exit points of the 20mph area where the speed limit changes. These signs will be supplemented by smaller repeat signs or road markings. Other features, such as planter boxes, will be used to narrow the entrances to roads to encourage lower speeds
If further measures are needed to maintain lower vehicle speeds additional methods will be considered, for example, kerb build-outs and variable speed messaging signs. Speed humps and cameras won't be considered.
Who will enforce it
West Mercia Police will continue to enforce as they currently do, in line with the speed limits that are in force. We'll also be setting up a community speed watch programme.
We won't profit from the introduction of 20mph restrictions. Speeding fines are sent to the UK Treasury.
Evidence supporting 20mph speed limit zones
Research by the UK Transport Research Laboratory has shown that every 1mph reduction in average urban speeds can result in a 6% fall in the number of casualties. It’s also been shown that you're seven times more likely to survive if you're hit by a car travelling at 20mph compared to one travelling at 30mph. If a child suddenly steps in front of a car, you are much less likely to seriously injure or kill them if you keep to a 20mph limit.
Research shows that slower speeds encourage a smoother driving style with less stopping and starting which helps traffic to flow. Evidence from other areas shows that slower speeds encourage more people to walk and cycle.
Smoother driving and reduced acceleration and braking may help to reduce fuel consumption and associated emissions. Some environmental benefit from the change is expected from helping to encourage walking or cycling short distances instead of driving.
Research in other cities suggests that journey times won't significantly increase.
If the pilot 20mph speed limit zone goes ahead, we'll be carrying ‘before and after’ speed and traffic volume surveys as well as opinion surveys as part of the monitoring programme to find out the impact of the different measures introduced. This information will be used to inform whether further engineering measures are required to reduce vehicular speeds at problem sites, and whether a 20mph speed limit zone should be implemented in the area on a permanent basis.
We'll release some of the findings in due course, and a decision will be made by cabinet on whether to roll-out 20mph speed limit zones in other communities.
What you've told us
94% of survey respondents walk within the local area (40% daily for 10 minutes or more). The main reason for walking is for exercise/leisure or to visit the shops but many people said they walk for a large range of reasons. Walking is the most popular mode of travel around the area with 67% of respondents reporting they usually travel around the area on foot
Just under half of respondents currently cycle in Porthill and Copthorne (49.5%). Of those cycle users 15% are daily cyclists, 25% cycle at least 3 times a week and 23% cycle once or twice a fortnight (37% cycle monthly or less often).
The top concerns for both pedestrians and cyclists are speed of traffic, volume of traffic, drivers’ behaviour towards cyclists and lack of cycle routes.
If we receive enough support for the trial, we'd like to install measures in spring/summer 2023 for a period of 18 months. We'll use the results of the trial to inform whether we make these changes permanent in the area, and also to inform the roll-out of 20mph speed limit zones across other residential areas in Shropshire.
The results of this statutory consultation exercise will be reported at Shropshire Council’s cabinet committee meeting on 18 January 2023 with a recommendation whether or not to introduce the trial.
Share your view
You can have your say in the following ways:
Consultation survey - click on the 'How to get involved' tab on this page
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