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Aston Fence School speed limit extension

Volume 706: debated on Thursday 6 January 2022

The petition of residents of the constituency of Rother Valley,

Declares that road safety measures must be strengthened and improved around Aston Fence School; and further that the existing 20mph speed limit, which is currently applicable during peak drop-off and pick-up hours in morning and afternoon, be in force at all times to protect pedestrians and drivers alike.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons call on the Government to urge Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to extend the existing 20mph speeding restrictions around the school so that they are in force at all times, rather than just during peak school hours.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Alexander Stafford, Official Report, 14 December 2021; Vol. 705, c. 1028.]

[P002704]

Observations from The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Baroness Vere of Norbiton

The setting of local speed limits is a matter for the local traffic authority, which has powers to make enforceable speed limit orders which may set either variable speed limits that apply only at certain times, or permanent speed limits that operate all the time. The traffic authority has the responsibility of making decisions about the roads under its care, based on its knowledge of the area and taking into account local needs and considerations.

The Department issues guidance to local traffic authorities designed to make sure that speed limits are appropriately and consistently set while allowing for flexibility to deal with local circumstances. The guidance can be found online at www.gov.uk/government/publications/setting-local-speed-limits. This guidance is not mandatory, and the final decision is for the authority, working with the police which would carry out any enforcement.

Local authorities are free to make their own decisions about the streets under their care provided they take account of the relevant legislation. It would be inappropriate for the Government to seek to intervene in the process of local democratic accountability.