Speed limit 'redundant' to drivers

PUBLISHED: 12:30 12 November 2010




VIRTUALLY every motorist entering a North Somerset village is ignoring a restricted speed limit despite a death on the road just two years ago.

Out of 11,645 cars driving toward Banwell on the A371, just 202 vehicles stuck to the 30mph speed limit during a two-day study.

The speed test by North Somerset Council even found two motorists driving at speeds of more than 65mph.

On the same stretch of road in 2008 Cheddar man John Martyn, aged 51, died when his Lotus Elan flipped over.

But highways officers say the study proves the speed limit is now ‘redundant’ and should be increased to match motorist speeds.

As a result, senior engineer David Bailey is proposing a speed limit change as part of a district-wide review of A roads.

In a letter to Banwell Parish Council, he said: “The far majority of motorists drive to the conditions of the road despite what the actual speed limit is.

“Driver perception is that there is no need for them to drive at 30mph along this section, the need for them to drive at 3mph begins at the castle.

“Therefore the 30mph becomes redundant.”

Mr Bailey said signage for the beginning of a 30mph speed limit would get more attention if it started at the castle.

He said his proposal, which is to also move 30mph speed limits closer into the village on Knightcott Road and Towerhead Road, had support from the police.

But members of Banwell Parish Council continued their opposition to the plan at a meeting on Monday night.

They agreed to write in against the proposal for the review’s consultation, which ends on November 19.

Clerk Kevin Barrett said: “It is accepted that there will always be some drivers who choose to ignore speed limits, but many do not.

“These proposals will not improve the environment for all road users, but only for drivers who wish to drive faster.

“It will certainly not improve the environment for cyclists, pedestrians and the residents of Banwell.”

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