Local Highway Panels Members Guide. 2 Speed and Traffic Management

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1 Local Highway Panels Members Guide 2 Speed and Traffic Management

2 2 Local Highway Panels (LHP) Members Guide 2016/17 1. Introduction Following the publication of the DfT guidance on setting local speed limits, Essex County Council developed a speed policy that takes account of the effect of appropriate travel speeds to environmental and social objectives as well as to road safety at a national and local level. Both documents place an even greater emphasis on consistent and coherent speed management to encourage driver compliance and to seek to reinforce the driver s assessment of the safe speed to travel. This facilitates an improved quality of life for local communities and a better balance between road safety, accessibility, and environmental objectives, especially in rural communities. Further information can be found in the Essex Speed Management Strategy: strategy.pdf 2. Typical Problems The speed limit should be 20mph outside the school There are lots of speeding cars and it isn t safe We need a roundabout to slow the traffic Drivers are going too fast and I can t cross the road People are speeding through the village We need a roundabout so we can get out of the junction Most people find speeds very difficult to estimate. To accurately work out the speeds, a speed survey needs to be undertaken which requires tubes to be laid across the road to measure the speeds.

3 Local Highway Panels (LHP) Members Guide 2016/ Things to Consider It is often the case that residents perception of a speeding problem is not supported by speed data. Speed limits are for the safety of all road users. They set the maximum legal speed that a vehicle should travel at given ideal driving conditions. Where speeding is occurring it is common to find that many of the people speeding are local residents. This is usually because they are familiar with the environment and adjust their driving accordingly. It is essential for motorists to know the speed limit for the road they are on, in relation to the vehicle they are using and to be aware of the signs and drive within the prescribed maximum speed. Essex Speed Management Strategy. This Essex Speed Management Strategy sets out a consistent approach to speed management which will assist drivers to understand the speed they should be travelling wherever they are within the County. The information in the members toolkit is taken from the strategy document. For more information please consult the full strategy document. Any speed management decision outside the strategy must be approved through a Cabinet Member Action. Speed data It will be necessary to get accurate speed data for the site before it is possible to identify what can be done to solve the issue. These surveys are paid for from the LHP revenue budget. If traffic travels at 40mph, it is unlikely that simply putting up signs for 30mph will bring about any meaningful speed reduction without additional measures such as traffic calming.

4 4 Local Highway Panels (LHP) Members Guide 2016/17 4. Typical measures Speed Limits The Essex Speed Management Strategy sets out the hierarchy of speed limits across the county and where they should be used. Designers will design in accordance with the strategy. Changing speed limits or managing speed Changing speed limits can be very contentious and generally leads to significant objections. As a result the process can be very lengthy and unlikely to please everyone. Managing speed within an area may be more effective and easier to deliver. Changing Speed limits Any changes to speed limits require a Speed Limit Order (SLO). Once this is in place and is correctly signed then the speed limit is legally enforceable If the legal process is not followed and/or the signing is not correct then the limit cannot be enforced. The statutory process includes a formal consultation period (usually 21 days) during which time anyone can make written representations to the proposals. Objections that are received must be considered before proceeding. It may be possible to alter the scheme to resolve the objections but this may require further formal consultation. If there are objections that cannot be resolved the LHP has three options: Abandon the scheme. Submit a Cabinet Member Action to implement the scheme as designed. Amend the scheme to accommodate the objections. This will incur additional design costs Managing speed and the perception of speed Often speeds will be within the speed limit but are still perceived as too fast. There are various engineering changes to the road environment and/or alternative activities that the community can do that can bring about a reduction in speed.

5 Local Highway Panels (LHP) Members Guide 2016/17 5 Community Speedwatch Community Speedwatch is a traffic monitoring scheme that is co-ordinated by Essex Fire and Rescue Service on behalf of SERP but managed and run by volunteers in the community. The aim is to address the problem of real or perceived speeding in partnership with the community in order to reduce the number of injuries from speed-related road traffic collisions. Monitoring of speeds will be undertaken by pairs of volunteers in reflective Community Speedwatch jackets supported by advance warning signs. Their operational logs will be forwarded to the Essex Police Mobile Support Division. First time offenders will be sent warning letters by the police, second and subsequent offences will lead to Police action. To participate in, or find out more about Community Speedwatch please contact Community Speedwatch Home Zones The aim of Home Zones is to improve the quality of life in residential areas by making them places for people rather than just a thoroughfare for cars. The key elements to a successful Home Zone are: Community involvement to encourage a change in user behaviour. Road design to encourage a new range of activities and slow speeds. No/little through traffic. 20 mph limits and zones Community Speed Watch A safer community for all Permanent 20mph speed zones are not permitted on County Priority 1 Routes. Permanent 20mph speed limits will also not be permitted on County PR1 Routes. However, a variable 20mph speed limit may be considered in exceptional circumstances following consultation with the Traffic Manager and with the approval of the Cabinet Member. Permanent 20mph zones will not be permitted on County PR2 Routes but 20mph speed limits may be considered following consultation with the Traffic Manager and the approval of the Cabinet Member. 20mph zones or speed limits may be considered on non-county Routes in areas where a high volume of non-motorised road users may be expected, such as in a residential area, near a school, near a local shopping area, or in special environments where the character of the carriageway and use of the area demands a reduction in speed. 20mph zones and 20mph limits may be considered [under certain circumstance].

6 6 Local Highway Panels (LHP) Members Guide 2016/17 4. Typical measures continued 20s Plenty This is a new advisory scheme for 20mph limits on local 30mph roads outside educational establishments. The scheme is not suitable for PR1 or PR2 routes. The scheme engages schools and encourages local 20mph posters that can be used to emphasise the speeds expected in the vicinity. The LHP will be responsible for revenue funding the 25 for a token for the winning design. 20s Plenty must be supported by the Small Changes Pledge where schools and parents sign up to commit to the 20 mph limit. Requests for 20s Plenty must be validated to make sure they are likely to reduce the speeds and are suitable for the proposed location and must be accompanied by a Cabinet Member Approval (CMA) Managing speeds Managing driver behaviour and encouraging drivers to stay within the speed limit can be achieved in many ways. Build-Outs Narrowing the carriageway may have many benefits, as drivers perception of the safe speed for the road is affected by road width which could facilitate pedestrian movements. Cyclists can be vulnerable where reduced road width brings them into close contact with motorised vehicles that might try to pass them.

7 Local Highway Panels (LHP) Members Guide 2016/17 7 Gateway features These provide a visual clue to the start of a village. They can be very effective in reducing the speeds on the approach to a village. Vehicle Activated Signs Vehicle Activated Signs can be useful for a local community. However only the capital cost of initial installation is available through the LHP. Ongoing revenue maintenance funding for the VASs is extremely limited. The local community should consider how these will be maintained going forward. Rumblewave surfacing Rumblewave surfacing is no longer supported by the County Council. Evidence shows that it is largely ineffectual when used as a stand-alone initiative. Where it has been installed it has been shown to require regular and expensive maintenance which places a significant burden on the on-going maintenance budgets. Road Humps and Speed Cushions Essex County Council will only implement road humps as a last resort after all other measures have been considered and only on urban Local Roads. Any proposal for road humps and cushions needs to show why other measures cannot be implemented.

8 8 Local Highway Panels (LHP) Members Guide 2016/17 4. Typical measures continued Full consultation with the local community and emergency services must take place as they must be made aware of any negative impacts that a scheme comprising physical measures might have. This may include noise, discomfort or exclusion for certain user groups, including local disability/ access groups, loss of parking in some instances and changes to the visual environment. If road humps are used within a scheme, all physical measures within the scheme will be subject to both informal and formal consultation. Emergency Services and bus operators (public and school services) are generally opposed to these measures. It is always important to consult with these at an early stage. Public and school bus operators affected by any scheme must provide written agreement to the scheme. In some instances the bus operators will not use a route with speed humps/cushions and may remove the service. If agreement cannot be reached, the community and ultimately the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation will have to consider whether the advantages of the scheme outweigh the possible loss of a bus service. Coloured Road Surfacing Essex County Council will not consider the use of Red Coloured Road Surfacing for Speed Management due to maintenance implications, the effect on the environment, cost of installation and the limited effect on safety. Carriageway Markings All road markings add to the maintenance burden for the Council. Maintenance outside the normal maintenance regime will not be possible Edge Lining can be used in a rural location. It can make the road appear narrower. Central hatching can only be used to reduce speeds at bends as part of a casualty reduction scheme Dragons Teeth. These are no longer supported by Essex County Council.They require regular and expensive maintenance and there is no documented evidence of the success of installing these markings in reducing drivers speed.

9 Local Highway Panels (LHP) Members Guide 2016/17 9 Mini Roundabouts Mini roundabouts would normally only be considered if: the existing traffic flow from the side road is significant the road is subject to a 30mph speed limit on-site recorded speeds are below 35mph there is adequate visibility there are no physical constraints (e.g. nearby private accesses, bus stops and pedestrian crossings) the junction has no more than 3-arms ( T junction). Safety Cameras The Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) is responsible for managing the operation of 99 fixed speed camera sites, 26 red light camera sites, 7 average speed camera systems and 2 HADECS (Highways Agency Digital Enforcement Camera System) across Essex, Southend and Thurrock. The Partnership s strategy also incorporates the use of mobile handheld devices, which allows for dynamic enforcement across the SERP s area at locations where a fixed site would not be justified. Safety camera locations are managed on a site by site basis. The criteria used for identifying potential sites takes into account the collision history, speeding problem and community concern along each stretch of road. Where a site meets the criteria the County Council funds the installation of the camera housing and associated signing and lining after which SERP manages the camera installation and all associated maintenance. All requests for safety cameras are initially assessed for suitability by the SERP. Safety camera locations are managed on a site by site basis. The criteria used for identifying potential sites takes into account the collision history, speeding problem and community concern along each stretch of road. Where a site meets the criteria the County Council funds the installation of the camera housing and associated signing and lining after which SERP manages the camera installation and all associated maintenance. You can find more information on the SERP Safety Camera web page.

10 10 Local Highway Panels (LHP) Members Guide 2016/17 5. Scheme Investigation Speed management and new speed limits Speed surveys will be required to establish the actual speeds at the location. All schemes will be developed in line with the ECC Speed Management Strategy. If the LHP wishes to implement a speed reduction scheme outside the strategy it will need to be formally approved by the Cabinet Member through a Cabinet Member Action. Additionally Essex Police is consulted on changes in speed limits. As the enforcing authority of such limits, its support is an important factor in ensuring any changes are successful in their stated aims. Any situation in which the Police do not support such changes must be questioned regarding its suitability. The proposal could still be considered via a CMA, based on the merits of individual schemes. 20s Plenty A 20s Plenty campaign must have the support of the County Member and the local school before it is assessed. The mean speed must not be in excess of 30mph and drivers must be able to identify the school/college entrance and understand the need to slow down. A speed survey will be required in order to identify current speeds and traffic volumes. Once approved the school must run a campaign to design the local 20s Plenty poster and engage the parents in making the pledge to drive more slowly. The LHP and HLO will be responsible for picking the winning design. The HLO will work with the school to agree the locations for the signs. Once the design has been chosen the signs will be manufactured and installed. 6. Costs and Timescales The Essex County Council contract with Ringway Jacobs is a target cost contract and not a fixed price contract. This type of contract was chosen as the best type of contract to deliver savings and efficiencies and also to promote partnering between ECC and Ringway Jacobs. An explanation of the process can be found in Appendix 1. The costs and timescales for typical schemes can be found on the following hyperlink.

11 Local Highway Panels (LHP) Members Guide 2016/ Glossary of Terms AVL CMA CMB EA ECC EH LHP NEPP PP RTPI Automatic Vehicle Location (similar to RTPI) Cabinet Member Action Cabinet Member Briefing Environment Agency Essex County Council Essex Highways Local Highways Panel North Essex Parking Partnership Parking Partnership Real Time Passenger Information S106 Section 106 (Money provided by a Developer to County Council to implement infrastructure as an obligation of the planning permission) S278 Section 278 (Infrastructure required to be implemented by the Developer as an obligation of the planning permission) SERP SID SEPP SLO SSSI TRO TSRGD VAS Safer Essex Roads Partnership Speed Indicating Device South Essex Parking Partnership Speed Limit Order Site of Special Scientific Interest Traffic Regulation Order Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions Vehicle Activated Sign

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