School speed limits - Robin
Near where I live the schools have 20mph limits outside the school gates. The limits are posted on the yellow flashing light poles which warn of a school crossings and also on the ground. Are these limits in force all the time or only when the lights are flashing, ie at the start and end of the school day?
School speed limits - Morris Ox
All the time, I'd hope
School speed limits - SteveH42
All the time, I'd hope

But why? Are you really saying that there are going to be kids ready to leap out infront of your car at 3am? I'd support the wider adoption of such variable limits in this country - there are a lot of places where a 30 limit for example is in place where it is only really necessary for part of the day and 40 could be applied safely at quieter times.
School speed limits - smokie
Hear hear Steve. And also time dependent traffic lights (to save you having to wait at empty crossroads at 3 am).

I suppose the authorities would say that this would be too confusing...
School speed limits - slefLX
I think although I can't be 100% sure as fact that we have got time dependent traffic lights near me. I think they go on to sensors rather thsn timers after a certain time of day.

I say this partly from experince on a bicycle and partly in a car, the lights seem to stay on whatever position they're at for longer than you would ordinarily imagine unless something comes from the other direction in which case they change to let them through. Sorry I'm not explaining this very well but I hope you understand what I mean.
School speed limits - HF
The lights will be in force only whilst the lights are flashing. There should be a sign nearby to indicate this.
School speed limits - Dwight Van Driver

School speed limits - volvoman
HF's right - they're only on for about half an hour in the morning and afternoon and, outside our local school, only cover a distance of about 150m.

Sadly, as HF will testify, even then a great many 'motorists' simply can't resist the temptation to totally ignore them and speed on by thereby saving themselves a vital second or two !
School speed limits - smokie
"even then a great many 'motorists' simply can't resist the temptation to totally ignore them and speed on by thereby saving themselves a vital second or two "

Not condoning this at all, but also worthy of mention are the parents and kids who choose to cross at locations other than those designated just because they are too lazy to walk the extra 100 yards...
School speed limits - Morris Ox
Sure, but this isn't a war Smokie. Mums have to rush round like crazy getting kids ready for school, kids are kids and have never driven cars, Mums will have loads on their minds.

The world isn't full of people who are out to get in the way of people trying to enjoy cars. It's full of people going about their business and not all of them are thinking about what's going on around them.
School speed limits - smokie
I know, I have kids. However road safety was one thing I made sure I had the time to teach them.
School speed limits - volvoman
I think drivers and pedestrians all need to be more responsible and some of the worst offenders are the parents taking their loved ones to school.
School speed limits - Another John H
This reminds me of an incident a few years ago:
30 mph limit past a school on one of the rat-runs into Manchester - the local Mums complained.

Eventually the Police put their trap up at 0900 one morning, and caught all the Mums who were late... and virtually none of the "rats" - who knew a trap when they saw one.

A lot of people will speed when they feel _their_ needs demand it, even if they know better.
School speed limits - BrianW
It is a proven fact that pedestrians will cross wherever and whenever they want, even if a crossing is five ot ten yards away.
School speed limits - volvoman
Whilst I'm sure many pedestrians will tae the opportunity (if available) to cross a road a few yards before a designated crossing point, I can't believe most people do most of the time. I use my local high street virtually every day and the number of people who cross where they should vastly outweighs that of those who try to do it elsewhere.

I must admit I can't understand why some pedestrians choose to cross where they do but if I'm in my car (especially if it's pouring down with rain or something), I do tend to give way to pedestrians (especially those with children) who are either standing by the side of the road trying to cross or 'stuck' on pedestrian refuges watching hoardes of warm, dry, thoroughly cosseted motorists pass by oblivious to their presence.
School speed limits - HF
I just want to comment on DVD's link, which explains a lot more about these 20mph limit zones.

I found 2 points particularly interesting.

First, that these zones are set by local councils and are supposed to be self-policing, which I would interpret as not being under the jurisdiction of the police? May quite well be wrong here.

Also that it is recommended that these limits are not imposed without the presence of other traffic-calming measures to back them up. Outside my local school, there is nothing other than the limit signs to deter traffic from speeding, and I'm sure this is why, in accordance with the figures in DVD's article, very few cars slow up and the few that do only drop by about 1mph.
School speed limits - Flat in Fifth

Yes I spotted that in the notice.

They really do make a big thing of *recommending* that 20 mph as well as being with traffic calming, should be in a location where an alternative route can be taken by through traffic.

Also in para 13 Variable speed limits, quote
" These are limits which change between 20 & 30mph depending upon the time of day as specified........."

Now I can think of a variable 20mph limit at a school crossing where
a) no traffic calming
b) on a main A road through route and
c) its in a 40.

So good intention of the 20 mph limit in this case notwithstanding, councillors ignoring strong recommendations. Nothing new there then!
School speed limits - HF
notwithstanding, councillors ignoring strong recommendations. Nothing new there then!


Don't be too harsh on the councillors! They're only abiding by the rules of their traffic calming budget, which states the order of priority for installing these measures.

The fact that quiet leafy backstreets where councillors and their friends and family live comes top of that list of priorities, and accident blackspots and danger areas like schools fall way behind, is surely not for us to question? ;)
School speed limits - volvoman
I organised the lobbying which led to the limited traffic calming measures in the road on which the school is sited and eventually to the 20 zone being established.

It was a few years ago now but I seem to recall being told that due to it being an 'A' class road, there were severe limitations on the nature of physical traffic calming measures it was possible to use. I don't know whether this was totally true, if the same rules still apply or what the full details were/ are. However, when I was actively involved in all this, I do remember us all being constantly frustrated by the traffic engineers' refusal or inability to consider what the majority of people here clearly felt would have been sensible measures to slow the traffic.

BTW, although designated an 'A' class road, the road in question is residential with a 30mph speed limit which, IIRC according to the last speed survey I saw for the area adjacent to the school, had an average speed well in excess of 40mph and top speeds of 50-60 mph.

I'd certainly be very interested to find out what the 'rules' governing traffic calming on such routes actually are.
Traffic calming ;was School speed limits - SteveH42
This reminds me of something I was meaning to ask. Do the council have to actually tell local residents when they are intending to install traffic calming? I live on a dead-end street, and have been told that the street we meet at right angles (i.e. the only way out) is to have traffic calming installed, but I've not heard anything from the council or seen any official notification, just heard rumours from neighbours. I'm not sure I'm happy about this - as I say, we can't avoid it, but no top of that the road is fairly quiet anyway - it doesn't get used as a rat-run or anything and as it has plenty of people parking on it, drivers tend to be sensible anyway. Also, I'm told they are installing 'bus-friendly' speed humps (it is on two bus routes) which I can't say I like much as I feel they offer more scope for a careless driver losing control.

I can see the point of traffic calming when it is needed, but I don't think it is needed in this case and I think it would just end up with more suspension-damaging humps that serve no real purpose. Are we allowed to object or don't we get a say in the matter?
Traffic calming ;was School speed limits - Flat in Fifth
Extract from Road Humps Regulations

"Consultation about road hump proposals
3. Where the Secretary of State or a local highway authority proposes to construct a road hump, he or they shall, as well as consulting the chief officer of police as required by section 90C(1) of the Act, also consult-

(a) where the proposal is by a local highway authority in England which is the council of a County, any district council in whose district the highway is situated;

(b) in all cases, the chief officer of the fire brigade for the area in which the highway concerned is situated and the chief officer of any body providing ambulance services under the National Health Service Act 1977[6] and operating in that area;

(c) in all cases, organisations appearing to him or them to represent persons who use the highway to which the proposal related, or to represent persons who are otherwise likely to be affected by the road hump."

Look in the Notices section of your local press, plus signs should appear on lamposts etc in the affected roads. These notices will tell you how to object.

Also the law is such that if ten of you demand it you can force a parish vote which is a bit like a mini referendum. This happened in Bewdley last year and surprise surprise the council lost. They subsequently claimed it was unfair because the objectors had the audacity to campaign for votes whereas the councillors sat on their rear ends and expected to win by default.

This was covered in a number of threads, don't know if they exist or have disappeared into traffic calming thread volume (n+1). search on "Bewdley" should find it.
Traffic calming ;was School speed limits - volvoman
You're in a similar position to us - affected by measures taken elsewhere. In our case the Council in its wisdonm decided to try and road hump a relatively sleepy area. We found out about it almost by accident but soon realised it would result in traffic being diverted onto already busier and more dangerous roads (one of which contained the infant/ junior school). First step was to contact our local councillors (obtained their numbers from the civic centre) and raise our concerns. Next we demanded the statistics on which the massively expensive scheme was based on - just how dangerous were these roads ?? Surprise, surprise, we discovered that the chief beneficiaries of the treatment were roads which either didn't even feature on the accident league table or were at the bottom of it. Next, started writing lots of letters to the local press and councillors in other areas highighting the gross unfairness of the proposed action and the consequences for other areas. Finally leafleted a large adjacent area alerting all residents to the proposals - this really caused a stir !! Also made contacts in other affected areas and encouraged them to do the same. A barrage of complaints resulted and a great many red and extremely angry faces amongst the few sponsors of the scheme. Result - the scheme eventually installed was much reduced and the knock on effects on adjacent areas was taken into account. Several groups were spawned at this time, some of which still exist and serve a similar purpose when required.

We have used similar, highly effective tactics to publicise local authority action/inaction and have won a number of very important victories, including securing £3-400,000 worth of funding for a new special needs unit and putting the brakes on a proposed permit parking scheme which would simply have shifted problems from one area to another.

More to follow ...
Traffic calming ;was School speed limits - volvoman
Often these decisions are made by cosy sub -committees and have far more to do with looking after their friends than solving real problems and improving the quality of life of the majority.

We were told the permit parking scheme had been designed after extensive consultation/analysis and there wouldn't be any transferrence of parking problems but weren't surprised when the engineers responsible were unable to provide us with any statistics showing the number of on road parking spaces to be lost as opposed to those being created.

To be fair to councils, the public do tend to be apathetic about such things until it's too late so I'm not totally surprised that the councils sometimes act in the way they do.

If you are concerned about the scheme you must raise your concerns and get as much support as you can. It can take a lot of time and leg work - I have spent many, many hours of my own time doing exactly that and it works. You can't really blame the council for going ahead with a scheme if nobody has objected to it so why not see if you can gather some support from areas which might suffer directly from the proposals e.g. roads which might suffer from diverted traffic.

Good luck.

Value my car