Sheffield speed limit: Council approves 20mph speed limit for Fulwood and High Green 12 years after initial proposal despite controversy

A new 20mph speed limit has been approved for two Yorkshire neighbourhoods by Sheffield Council despite controversy.

A meeting of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee took place on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 to consider the proposal of a 20mph speed limit for Fulwood and High Green.

The committee considered a report by the Executive Director for City Futures with a comprehensive list of consultation responses to the proposals, report the receipt of objections to the Speed Limit Order and set out the Council’s response.

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In February 2011, the council adopted a motion ‘to bring forward plans for city-side 20mph limits on residential roads (excluding main roads)’. This resulted in the adoption of the Sheffield Speed Limit Strategy by the Cabinet Highways Committee in March 2012.

20mph signage. (Pic credit: Matthew Horwood / Getty Images)20mph signage. (Pic credit: Matthew Horwood / Getty Images)
20mph signage. (Pic credit: Matthew Horwood / Getty Images)

The long term plan is to establish 20mph as the maximum appropriate speed in residential areas of Sheffield. Each speed limit is indicated by traffic signs and road markings only. They exclude any ‘physical’ traffic calming measures. To date 34 ‘sign only’ 20mph areas have been implemented as well as 12 child safety zones.

The Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee has approved the Fulwood 20mph Speed Limit Order and the introduction of a part time 20mph limit on Fulwood Road outside Nether Green School. Objectors will be informed of the decision by the Council’s Traffic Regulations team and the order implemented on the street subject to no road safety issues being identified through a Road Safety Audit (RSA) at the detailed design stage.

The Council states that there is a proven link between motor vehicle speed and the number and seriousness of injury collisions. However, the Department for Transports’ 20mph Research Study from November 2018 found that the introduction of sign-only 20mph speed limits didn’t result in a significant change in collisions in the short term but deduced that further data is required to determine the long-term impact.

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In the long term it is thought that a gradual increase in compliance with the 20mph speed limit will result in a reduction in collisions, helping to create safer communities.

The proposal has sparked controversy with 157 out of 409 formal objections to the scheme. A petition was introduced for Crimicar Lane and Fulwood Road to be included in the scheme boundary.

Majority of the objections (94 total) were against the ‘blanket’ approach that is being adopted and said that the speed restrictions should be focussed around schools.

There were 35 responses that were concerned about the enforcement of the new speed limit; the police are the only ones who can enforce speed limits. 25 responses mentioned the cost implications of the proposed scheme and suggested that there would be better ways of spending the money.

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