11 December 2020:
This project is now complete and has been implemented as planned and without significant disruption. We believe it is achieving the intended benefits and so this work is now completed and this post is now closed.
6 August 2020:
Further to the text and proposals below (which were published in April 2020), the four formal North Somerset Council documents can be viewed from the links below (from 6 August 2020):
Text below from April 2020:
Following the implementation of the 20mph speed limit on Station Road, the discrepancy between that and the 30mph limits on the smaller surrounding roads has been highlighted by many residents. Also the resulting use of the smaller roads as “rat-runs” has been disliked, with Backwell Parish Council being asked to try to help. There is initial evidence that the reduced speed on Station Road may have reduced injuries and risk to all road users (including students walking to the senior school) however, it is also true that the traffic calming measures (“humps”) are disliked by many residents.
Discussions within the village over the last 18 months suggested that about 70% of residents would like there to be a more consistent speed limit in the roads off Station Road and the A370. We did consider the speed limit of the A370 (for example the 40mph limit from the Leisure Centre to past The George) but it became clear that the issues and regulations on an A-road are different and changes to that would be best discussed and managed separately. Similarly, the roads in the Downside area of Backwell are of a different nature and without the same discrepancy relating to Station Road and so we decided to consider that later.
Some of the aims for the change in our speed limit include:
- Safety. There is initial evidence suggesting that the Station Road changes have reduced accidents.
- Reducing the incentive for rat-running away from Station Road.
- Noise. The sound of speeding is an annoyance to many residents.
- Pollution. As a car’s engine turns faster the more petrol is burned and CO2 produced etc.
Backwell Parish Council decided to explore a more unified speed limit proposal based on the following principles:
- In about 2016, during the negotiations in relation to Planning Permission for development of Coles Quarry, funds were agreed and paid to NSC to implement a 20mph speed limit. We confirmed although some funds had been spent on investigation of the possibilities, a significant amount of this funding is still available (for this purpose).
- We aimed to implement a more consistent speed in the village with as few changes of speed limit as possible.
- No further humps or other physical traffic calming measures.
We requested North Somerset Council (NSC) consider the above and in 2019 their policies changed. It was necessary to have speed surveys done to assess the need for traffic calming measures and these were undertaken during the Autumn 2019 and the conclusion was that a 20mph limit could be implemented without “humps”.
In 2020 the Highways Department of NSC produced written proposals and the 13 drawings developed (available from the links below) and we expect this scheme to be implemented in 2020-21. However, in response to our questions the following two points have been clarified:
- Westfield Drive leading to West Leigh School is included, and so should be coloured red in the plans.
- The existing 20mph zone signs near the junior school will be retained.
Drawings / plans:
We would welcome any questions / comments / feedback from residents sent by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org