Help Forum

Help requested posted on 21st March 2013:

Advisory 20mph Speed Limits

I am interested to know if any local authority has introduced an advisory part-time 20mph speed limit sign with flashing lights, for use in the proximity of schools, as authorised within DfT document Signing the Way (Traffic Signs Policy paper, October 2011)

If these advisory speed limits have been introduced is there any feedback on how successful they are?

Aoife Duddy
DRD - Roads Service

Aoife Duddy
Any other organisation

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Response posted on 21st March 2013 by:
Kate Carpenter
T: 07920 143940

Norfolk CC

Norfolk did these many years ago (10 years?) and have among the longest experience of them. My recollection is that they were considered effective. Kevin Allen there may be able to help.

I have heard some concerns expressed that flagging *school times* conspicuously could be adverse for safety at other times - children leaving after-shcool clubs for example, more at risk as drivers don't expect them. It's like daylight-running-lights on cars making cyclists relatively more at risk as they're less conspicuous.

I'd suggest site specific consideration should review times of operation carefully; this isn't a simple 'bang it up' mass action solution (not that much is!)

Response posted on 27th March 2013 by:
Timothy Mackay
Transport for London
T: 020 3054 2194

School Safety Zones

The local authority where I grew up (South Gloucestershire) has used these types of signs to seemingly good effect in a rural village environment, which has a main road running through it.

They use a combination of a wig-wag, black bordered 20 mph ring and on carriagway markings.

You can see examples on Google Streetview here:

Note the black border around the 20 denoting an advisory limit

The more dangerous approach (blind bend) incorporates yellow backing boards and an on carriageway marking

Zone ends sign on exit approach

The School safety zone is within a wider 30mph (mandatory) village speed limit.

Note that unlike many school safety zones, the example above covers more than just the immediate extent of the school, the rationale being parents will drop their children off in a much wider area and the planners of this scheme wanted to include them in the safety zone

They also incorporated a permanent Speed Activated Device (SID) on the blind corner apporach. There is a report on the effectiveness of these types of signs on their website here:

The "school times" question is an interesting one. In terms of something that I am looking at in the London context. Recent speed surveys we have undertaken outside a school indicate that excessive speeds only occur during the school run period (3pm - 4pm).

Given that it seems unecessary to introduce a mandatory speed limit throughout the day, one possibility may be to introduce a school safety zone with a mandatory limit targeting the specific period where speeding contraventions occur.

Response posted on 2nd April 2013 by:
Andrew Fraser
Falkirk Council
T: 01324 504931

Speed limits near schools


I can't offer any advice on advisory speed limits outside schools, but I do have some data on accidents at school gates before and after the Scottish Executive issued:

... which relates to mandatory periodic limits outside schools, based in a "belief" of the Executive's. I shall forward it, if you provide me with your e-mail address.

I have to say that I share Kate Carpenter's concern, or something like it. I can't see the sense in providing children with different circumstances at certain times outside schools. How do they cope at all other times, in all other places?

More sensible might be to apply a 20 miles/hr speed limits to all urban areas, enforced by ISA.

Response posted on 25th April 2013 by:
Lee Barnard
Telford & Wrekin Council
T: 01952 348 000

Speed limits near schools

I understand there are a number of examples in Powys, good examples seem to be in Kerry and Berriew, it might be worth speaking to Powys?

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