Setting local speed limits
Contains guidance on setting local speed limits and explains how local speed limits are set.
Ref: DfT 01/2013 PDF, 212KB, 42 pages
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Department for Transport circular 01/2013
This revised guidance is aimed mainly at local traffic authorities who are responsible for setting speed limits on local roads. It has also been designed to help explain to everyone why and how local speed limits are determined. This circular has been revised following full public consultation in summer 2012.
Traffic authorities set local speed limits in situations where local needs and conditions suggest a speed limit which is lower than the national speed limit. Traffic authorities have the flexibility to set local speed limits that are appropriate for the individual road, reflecting local needs and taking account of local considerations.
Speed limits should be evidence-led and self-explaining and seek to reinforce people’s assessment of what is a safe speed to travel. They should encourage self-compliance. Speed limits should be seen by drivers as the maximum rather than a target speed.
Traffic authorities are asked to keep their speed limits under review with changing circumstances, and to consider the introduction of more 20 miles per hour limits and zones, over time, in urban areas and built-up village streets that are primarily residential, to ensure greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists, using the criteria contained in this guidance.
This circular replaces Department for Transport circular 01/2006, which is now cancelled.
- Consultation on revision of Department for Transport’s speed limit circular
- Speed limit appraisal tool
- Local speed limits, written statement by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, 18 January 2012
- New speed limit guidance for councils, press notice, 18 January 2012
- Local transport notes
- Traffic advisory leaflets