We need your views on speed limits in Cheltenham

We asked for your feedback; the consultation began on Monday 6 November and closed on Monday 4 December.

Cheltenham Borough Council is concerned about safety and speed on the town’s roads and the effect that traffic has on the quality of the town’s air. Informed by cross party member scrutiny of these issues, we take the view that a wider use of 20mph limits is one of the potential measures that might help address these concerns.

However, roads and traffic are managed by Gloucestershire County Council, so the aim of this exercise was to help us gather information that will help in discussions with the county council on the suitability of 20mph limits.

Following analysis of the consultation’s responses, Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, has written to Gloucestershire County Council recommending their consideration of the consultation’s results, possible implementation options and engagement with Cheltenham’s residents on limits.

Below are copies of the consultation response analysis, a map of proposed routes to be exempt from limits and Cllr Andrew McKinlay’s letter to Gloucestershire County Council.

Why introduce 20mph?

The main reasons that the council is interested in introducing 20mph are because it’s safer and healthier.

Safer - The World Health Organisation says that 20mph is safer for pedestrians. As a pedestrian you are seven times less likely to die if hit by a car travelling at 20mph than one travelling at 30mph; and you are less likely to be hit in the first place in a 20mph area.

Healthier - The whole of Cheltenham is a designated air quality management area. A study at Imperial College London found that in terms of air quality improvement, 20mph is the equivalent of taking over half the petrol cars off the road.

For more information visit the 20's plenty website.

Which roads will be affected?

The council wants to take a measured approach to the consideration of 20mph limits. We recognise that not all roads are suitable and that easy movement of traffic on the town’s main roads is important to the economy and people’s lifestyle. We suggest that main roads and strategic bus routes should not generally be included in the 20mph limits.

You can view a map showing roads (in pink) that are likely to be excluded from the proposed 20mph limits.

Will it change the look of the town’s streets?

Introducing 20mph limits across broad areas means we can avoid the humps and much of the street-clutter which we often see with smaller zones. It should have no major impact on what our streets look like.

On the other hand, smaller 20mph areas often need physical speed restriction measures and bring in more signage. This can change the look of a street.

But whichever approach is used, 20mph will make our streets more pleasant places to be in – less noisy, less polluted and better for walking and cycling.

How will we make sure people stick to the speed limit?

Most people keep to the speed limit and there will be no need for additional enforcement measures; simply a lower speed limit to stick to.

There will always be those who occasionally break the limit and it will be enforced, but the authorities will apply their powers similarly to the way they always have – identifying the most serious offenders and bringing them to book.

How much will it cost?

The purpose of this exercise is to gather information on the appetite and potential location of 20mph limits. The potential costs arising are unknown at this time.