Road Safety – 30mph limit approved for Staple Fitzpaine

Following over a year of working with Somerset Highways, the Parish Council has been successful in reaching agreement to have a reduction to 30 mph (from current 40 mph) speed limit in Staple Fitzpaine. Implementation of the new limit, together with two village gateways to highlight the entrances to the village on Staple Road, will be happening from April onwards (precise dates to be confirmed).

The Parish Council has also been successful in its request for the beginning of the speed zone to be placed higher up the hill in the location of the current village name sign, so that cars slow down at the beginning of the steep descent (from Taunton direction).

Close engagement with the Highways team was needed, as they needed to push the process through. It wasn’t a quick thing to do because there is a sequential process to be followed. This included getting speed data that needed to prove that 30 mph was a feasible limit, on the basis that a speed limit will not work if it is set too low compared to the average speed of vehicles. Fortunately, the results taken on one day showed an average of 34.2 mph, and hence a 30 mph limit was viewed as achievable. Then it was necessary to get Police consent for a change in speed limit placement, as we wanted to set the new limit at the top of the hill, as the current placement of the limit is after vehicles have gained speed from their descent. Finally, there was a need for advertisement locally in the press to allow for objections: none were received, nor were there any objections lodged against the Traffic Regulation Order published by Somerset Council. New speed roundels for 30 mph will be installed, with 30mph painted on the road for extra emphasis, and will also be incorporated into the village gateway set up at the entrance to the village at the Manor side and at the entrance on the hill from Taunton direction. The purpose of gateways is to bring greater awareness to the passing drivers that they are entering a village and must slow down.

If you wish to know more about speed limits, and traffic calming, please look at: www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-travel-and-parking/speed-limits/

The Parish Council continues to look at other ongoing road safety issues, turning its attention to problems with fast vehicles using the road up and down from Neroche woods.