Report of the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste (HIW/21/68), summarising the progress made over the last twelve months on the review of DCC Speed Policy and Management following the Scrutiny Committee Speed Task Group (SCTG) report (June 2019), attached.
(Councillors Connett, Hannaford, Whitton and Wrigley attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste (HIW/21/68) summarising the progress made over the last twelve months on the review of DCC Speed Policy and Management following the Scrutiny Committee Speed Task Group (SCTG) report (June 2019).
The Newton Abbot scheme had been in progress since September 2019 and was currently undergoing public engagement and consultation. The Working Group had proposed a comprehensive scheme covering the built-up area of the town including the town centre and some main roads, extending it beyond the original brief which had been to restrict it to residential areas.
The pilot scheme was intended to test whether introducing a default 20 mph Speed Limit (20SPL) would bring increased gains in road safety (reducing the number and severity of collisions), increased active travel and benefits to public health, reduced congestion and emissions and increased sense of public safety.
The scheme was a major project involving officers from the Traffic Orders and Policy Team, Road Safety, Communications Group, Data Collection, Public Health and Transportation as well as regular input from the Town Council, District Council, Fire Service and Police as well as external consultants.
Several working groups had been formed to manage data collection, the public consultation and design works and these met every two weeks, for example vehicle speed and type, turning movements and air quality.
It was expected that a final design for the Newton Abbot 20 would be developed ready for Advert before the end of the Calendar year with implementation of the scheme, subject to consultation, anticipated in spring 2022.
Whilst there had been delays in the data survey (impacts of Covid-19 and its effects on traffic) the scheme had already produced some benefits including knowledge and experience gained during the public engagement, data collection and design stages would help improve these stages and process for future schemes.
The update Report highlighted that the SCTG recommended to review the SCARF process to reflect changes made to the Road Safety Strategy and Speed Limits Policy, ensuring local communities had a meaningful and transparent say on proposed local schemes.
The Police had also reviewed Speed Watch to address organisational and logistical issues which had hindered implementation of new schemes. Additional resources had been made available and there was a welcome increase in schemes across Devon.
The ongoing adoption and implementation of Vision Zero had created an opportunity to take forward some of the SCTG recommendations and the Newton Abbot pilot scheme continued towards implementation and would inform a large part of future policy. Work would continue to develop initiatives for local communities to help themselves, including the production of a local speed management toolkit. The ongoing work with the police and neighbouring authorities would be continued with more joint initiatives, potentially through Vision Zero as well as other subgroups already established.
The matter having been debated, also noting that the financial, legal, environmental, equality, risk management and public health considerations would be taken into account when the speed limit policy was revised,
it was MOVED by Councillor Hughes, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and
RESOLVED the contents of the Report be noted, including that a framework for prioritising 20mph projects would be presented to the Cabinet meeting on 8th December.