Southampton City Council launches new process for 20mph speed limit requests

A new online form has been created, allowing communities to request 20mph limits in their neighbourhoods

Southampton City Council has introduced a new process allowing communities to request 20mph speed limits in their local neighbourhoods. The move is designed to make the city’s residential areas safer and more pleasant, particularly for more vulnerable road users such as children, the elderly, people with disabilities and those travelling on foot or by bike.

The announcement follows the publication of the council’s new Corporate Plan for 2021-2025, which outlines a commitment to improving the city’s highways for all users. This includes the delivery of new 20mph limits, which are shown to reduce both the occurrence and severity of road traffic collisions, as well as overall vehicle speeds.

The new process will enable communities across the city to request 20mph limits in local areas via a new online form. People submitting requests will be asked to evidence community support for the measures. This can be via a recognised Residents’ Association request, or a request from a representative sample of residents in the local area with a supporting list of signatories. Requests can demonstrate support from a Ward Councillor representing the area and can also be received from Ward Councillors themselves, demonstrating residents’ support in their area. The closing date for submissions is 4 January 2022.

All of the requests will then enter a prioritisation process, which will assess the evidence of community support together with the feasibility of introducing the measures in the respective areas requested. This process will determine which areas proceed to the formal design stage for implementing 20mph limits.

Councillor Moulton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth, says:

“We recognise that there are areas across the city where there is a local call for greater road safety measures, including 20mph speed limits. This new process will empower communities to come forward with their requests and provide a system which responds to people’s needs, allowing us to make changes where there is greatest demand and scope for the measures. I encourage any communities or Residents' Associations where there are concerns about vehicle speeds to consider getting involved.”

The launch of this new process also comes alongside the council’s commitment to delivering two new Active Travel Zones in the city which, under the council’s plans, are set to feature 20mph speed limits as standard. Active Travel Zones are local neighbourhoods which feature a range of measures to calm or discourage traffic and instead prioritise people walking and cycling. The council began trialling the first of these zones in St Denys towards the end of 2020 and is currently implementing measures for a similar scheme around St Mark’s C of E School in Shirley, with plans to roll out a further two in Woolston and the Polygon. 20mph limits will also feature as part of all School Streets trials across the city, where the road outside a school is closed at drop off and pick up times to create a safer, greener and more pleasant environment.

More information about 20mph community requests is available on the council's transport website.