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Council Announces Speed Limit and Enforcement Review

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, has announced a major review of speed limits and enforcement across the Borough.

The review will result in lower speed limits on local roads where it is considered existing limits are too high. It follows representations from local residents and consultation from which it has become clear there are many locations within the Borough where the speed limit needs to be reviewed and reduced to increase safety and reduce accidents. This will also contribute to improving the local environment for residents.

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson said: "I have spoken to residents across Bedford Borough who are concerned about speeding and want action to reduce speeds, especially on residential roads.

“When I visited 55 villages across the Borough to speak directly with residents about the issues which concerned them, speeding traffic was always near the top of the list. A number of roads have initially been included in the review and my expectation is that limits will be reduced where necessary to 50mph, 40mph or 30mph as appropriate. Consideration will also be given to any additional roads where it is believed existing limits are excessive.

“This is only the first step in tackling a serious problem. We are also working with Bedfordshire Police to introduce a new enforcement model which will ensure that speed enforcement is more transparent and accountable, with residents able to see where speeding is being enforced and how many people are caught. Residents rightly expect that all speed limits in their neighbourhood will be enforced and that we should never have to wait until an accident occurs before action is taken.

“In addition, I am committed to the implementation of 20mph zones outside schools across the Borough and in areas where there is local support for them. It has been demonstrated that the chances of survival after an accident is considerably increased when vehicles are travelling at lower speeds. It is reasonable to expect drivers to slow down outside schools and therefore these zones will be gradually introduced across the Borough.”   

The new speed limits will be determined taking safety, mobility and environmental impact into account. The review and design work and the legal Traffic Regulation Order process necessary to process new speed limits will start imminently. This is a lengthy process which will include consultation with the community and it is anticipated that the first new speed limits will, subject to support and suitability, start to be implemented later in the year. The new enforcement model being pursued by Bedford Borough Council alongside Bedfordshire Police will see the casualty reduction partnership replaced by a service level agreement, involving public reporting of the results of targeted speeding enforcement activity.

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