ePetition details

Lower the speed limit on Prestwick Road to 30mph and alert road users of deer in the area

We the undersigned petition the County Council to I’m petitioning to propose a review of the speed limit on Prestwick Road from Hayling Road to Green Lane with a view of lowering the limit on this stretch of road to 30mph, as it used to be. Please see map of the area below:

A few years ago, the speed limit on this section of Prestwick Road was increased from 30mph to 40mph with no explanation and for no apparent reason. This section of road is located between two residential areas and is flanked by greenery leading onto South Oxhey playing fields. Immediately after this speed limit was implemented, it became clear that this had encouraged drivers to continue driving over 30mph as they entered Brookdene Avenue, posing a risk to fellow road users and pedestrians.

Whilst this in itself demonstrates the problems caused by the increased speed limit, we should not ignore the potential risk to the wildlife living in this area, particularly deer. Over recent months, I have been driving along this section of road in the evenings and on the majority of my journeys, I have encountered deer standing on the side of the road or crossing over.

As someone who strongly believes that we must protect our wildlife, please join me in requesting that the council review the speed limit here. Whilst it may be almost impossible to avoid knocking down one of these animals if it suddenly crossed the road right in front of an oncoming vehicle, a reduction of the speed limit to 30mph would provide road users with longer to react if faced with deer here in addition to helping to discourage speeding in the area. This would not only help to protect the animals themselves but would decrease the risk to drivers of being involved in a collision with large animals that could cause injury and at the very least damage to vehicles.

As per statistics published by the Highways Agency on 8th January 2018, as requested under the terms of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, 496 deer were killed on UK roads from 1st April to 4th December 2017 with a total number of 1,225 animals perishing on our roads in this time, with foxes, badgers, cats and dogs making up the other animals most frequently killed on our roads (please see published statistics below).

For me, this is a shocking reminder of how frequently animals are killed on our roads, with the actual total likely to be even greater. If we could reduce the risk to these animals on this section of road, we would be helping to protect animals and road users. I therefore kindly ask you to join me in asking the council to consider lowering the speed limit on the discussed stretch of Prestwick Road from 40mph to 30mph, as it previously was, and to consider informing users of this road of the presence of deer through clear signposting.

Started by: Deborah Jeffery (Rosie Harnden)

This ePetition ran from 17/04/2018 to 19/04/2019 and has now finished.

3 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

RESPONSE: to e-petition:
Lower the speed limit on Prestwick Road to 30mph and alert road users of deer in the area

Thank you for your petition with regard to lowering the speed limit on Prestwick Road to 30mph and to alert road users of deer in the area.

I would like to make you aware that the County Council as the Highways Authority is responsible for the management of speed on all public roads in Hertfordshire (except those maintained by Highways England).

In order to manage and consistently apply speed limits, Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) developed the Speed Management Strategy (SMS), which sets out the current criteria for setting speed limits, and is based on Government guidance published in January 2013, ‘Setting Local Speed Limits’. Speed limits should be evidence-led, self-explanatory and seek to reinforce peoples’ assessment of what is a safe speed to travel. They should encourage self-compliance and not be seen by drivers as being a target speed at which to drive in all circumstances.

This strategy has been developed in partnership between Hertfordshire County Council, as the Highway Authority, and Hertfordshire Constabulary. Please find the following link to the Speed Management Strategy which may assist you in understanding Hertfordshire County Council’s position in regard to your requests.

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/media-library/documents/highways/transport-planning/local-transport-plan-live/speed-management-strategy.pdf

The key criteria for setting a speed limit are set out in section 2 of the SMS and are as follows.

• C1. An assessment of the environment must be made to confirm that a speed limit is appropriate for the road. The Hertfordshire Speed Limit Framework will be used to meet this criterion.
• C2. For 30mph to 70mph limits, the maximum mean speed should not exceed the proposed limit once implemented.
• C3. Mean and 85th percentile speeds will be collected before and after a limit is implemented, although mean speeds will be used as the basis for setting speed limits.

The Police are responsible for the enforcement of speed limits.

In consideration of C1, the Hertfordshire Speed Limit Framework states that the environment for a rural 30 mph is:
• Where there are 20 or more houses over a length of at least 600m with a density of 3 houses per 100m
• If there are fewer than 20 houses, extra allowance can be made for key buildings such as a place of worship, shop or a school.
And for an urban setting:
• The standard limit in built up areas with development on both sides of the road where motor vehicle movement is a priority

This section of Prestwick Road does not meet the environment criteria for a 30mph limit, and it would be inappropriate to change the limit as drivers would be unlikely to adhere to any lower limit and it would not be possible for the police to enforce it.

In consideration of C2, which states that the mean speed should not exceed the proposed limit, a speed and volume survey was undertaken between 23rd and 29th January 2019. Mean average speeds recorded during this period were under 40mph, and therefore fully acceptable and compliant with the strategy.