More 20mph speed zones could be introduced in Hampshire as a new review into the county’s roads begins.
Hampshire County Council has formed a task force to look at 20mph zones across the county. The group, made up of eight councillors, will examine whether existing zones should remain, and which areas need the reduced speed limits.
Councillor Stephen Philpott, chairman of the economy, transport and environment select committee, said: ‘The group is being set up to gather evidence and present that to the committee. It’s certainly a hot topic at the moment – I’ve already has residents and parish councils contact me to have their say. With eight members it’s quite a large working group but for the sake of proportionality.’
Independent member for Bishopstoke and Fair Oak, Councillor Louise Parker-Jones, will be part of the working group team. She said: ‘I want us to take as many community views as possible, including cycling and walking groups. I’m also keen for us to consider the environmental impact of this work, because a lot of what we do will have a really positive impact – we should be cognisant of that.’
According to deputy council leader Councillor Rob Humby, climate change was a driving force behind him requesting the working group be set up.
Liberal Democrat spokesman for economy, transport and environment, Councillor Martin Tod, will also be in the new working group. He expects to find more roads that need 20mph restrictions. At the moment we have a mixture of 20mph zones, and certain streets with the restrictions,’ he said.
‘But you then have roads in between that are still 30mph, especially in Winchester. Perhaps the simple answer is to just finish the job, in that regard. It’s my understanding that slower speeds are not only better for the environment, but also mean vehicles to less damage to our roads.’
Most 20mph zones can be found in built-up areas, such as near schools. Typically, there are no physical speed restrictions like speed bumps, but clear signage is displayed. The group will have six months to compile evidence, before reporting its findings back to the select committee.