Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Speed limit between Gilberdyke and Howden is legally enforceable

As both a Howdenshire Ward Councillor and Chairman of the Police and Partners Community Forum, I have been asked many questions regarding the need for, and the legality of the speed limit on the section of the B1230 running through Eastrington Parish between Gilberdyke and Howden .

I cannot recall ever seeing a speed limit on a section of road quite like this, a limit in place to allow horses to use the road as a bridleway – but I’ve yet to see a horse, hear of anyone else seeing a horse, or know of any horse owners daft enough to ride a horse on this dangerous section of road.

It is all very confusing, with some people suddenly coming across the speed limit, braking hard and continuing at 30mph through the limited section, some vehicles behind are then surprised by the sudden braking and have to brake harder, and those behind them having to brake harder still. A great number of vehicles completely ignore the speed limit altogether and continue through the limited section at the normal speed - overtaking those travelling at 30mph at will.I am told by a local magistrate that he has fined people for travelling on this section of road, conversely I've had members of the public telling me the limit is not legally enforceable due to incorrect signage and warnings, including the lack of a 40mph buffer as the limit drops from the speed limit of 60mph for this type of road down to 30mph.

The Definitive Answer

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) has looked into this on my behalf has provided me with some definitive information.

The Highways Agency is carrying out essential repairs to Addle Lane Bridge, which crosses the M62, and forms part of a bridleway used by pedestrians and horse riders etc. A risk assessment carried out by the Highways Agency stated that with the bridge being closed and horse riders having to travel along the B1230 to another bridge to cross the M62, that the route should have a temporary 30mph speed limit for the duration of the works.

A temporary 30mph speed limit was introduced on the B1230 between Addle Lane junction and Newland Gate junction under Section 14(1) of The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The temporary order is dated 16/10/2008 and came into operation when the works started on 28/10/2008 and is valid for up to 18 months. It was anticipated that the works would have been completed within 5 months but the works have exceeded the anticipated completion date and the latest estimated completion date is 28/10/2009. This is still within the 18-month duration of the temporary order.

I am told there is no legal requirement to introduce a 40mph speed limit before entering a 30mph speed limit, either as a temporary or permanent order. 40mph buffer speed limits are occasionally put in place on “A” and “B” classified roads to help speed reduction prior to a 30mph speed limit in built up or partially built up areas or where there is a history of traffic injury accidents.

It has been confirmed to me that the temporary 30mph speed limit on the B1230 is signed correctly with 30mph / national speed limit signs on both sides of the road at the entry points. Specifically, there are five 300mm diameter repeater signs at approximately 200 metre intervals on alternate sides of the carriageway (the maximum distance between repeaters on alternate sides of the carriageway is 250 metres; Chapter 3, Traffic Signs Manual 2008, page 117, table 14-4).

I am also informed that only issue that might affect the legality of the 30mph speed limit is an interpretation of the distance from the terminal sign of the speed limit and the first repeater sign. The recommended maximum distance on a 30mph speed limit without street lighting should be 200 metres (Chapter 3, Traffic Signs Manual 2008, page 117, table 14-4). The distance from the terminal signs and the first repeater on the B1230 is 220 metres, at both the eastern and the western ends of the temporary speed limit. Whilst this is outside the recommended distance, it is a recommendation and not a mandatory distance. At 20 metres over the recommended distance, it is still within 10% of it.

In conclusion the ‘speed limit is legally enforceable - please drive with care’


John Jessop said...

The Mantra "carried out a risk assessment" doesn't explain this pointles exercise at all. Here are a few points to consider:
1. Addle Lane Bridleway was accessed from the main road at the South end before the bridge was temporarily removed and there was no limit on the road then.
2. The speed limit does not enclose the outlet from the now unusable bridleway but starts/stops some distance to the East so even if anyone could exit from the bridleway they would not be protected at that end.
3. The limit stops some distance to the West of the point where a horse rider could leave the main road and enter the Eastrington side road. So once again riders would not be protected.
4. If there was any brain used in this whole sorry mess it would have been possible to leave the main road alone and provide horse route using the grassy M62 side lane on the outside of the M62 fence. This arrangement works well in Newport where such a lane on the North side of the M62 is actually classified as a bridleway.
5. Can anyone explain why the bridge repair is over running to such an extent?
6. Perhaps expecting some common sense from our paid servants is asking too much?

Kev Owen (aka Bluetracker) said...

I must concur with John Jessop on this...Total lack of cohesive thought processes from ERYC once again.
As for their assertion that the speed restriction is legally enforcible...I would tend to take that statement with the same pinch of salt as I took their assertion that the CPZ in Howden was fully compliant with legislation...(yeah right). IMHO, anything remotely 'traffic orientated' that is handled by ERYC is doomed to be so full of holes as to be legally worthless and a boil on the bum of logical thought.

John Jessop said...

I used the M62 today and notice the bridge has been lifted back into place. Hopefully the whole job can soon be complete and the stupidity consigned to history.
It would be nice if the next such exercise is carried out sensibly with perhaps the involvement of one or two local horseriders who can inject a little common sense. Yes if you ask I am prepared to stand up and be counted and give an input!

Anonymous said...

Any problems with the roads in the East Riding (and there are many) please report them on www.fixmystreet.com.
They are reported to the council and more importantly it is reported in the public domain - so there is no excuse for the council to say they know nothing about it.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is that all minor country roads which are predominantly the type of road which I come across horses are all national speed limit so therefore should all roads be limited to 30mph just in case you come across a horse and rider - I myself always slow down and take a wide berth past horses as I am sure most others do and those who wouldn't would more likely ignore the speed limit anyway.

One last thought though - its still ok to drive through Gilberdyke at 40mph were children walk along the main road and have to cross the main road but for a horse its reduced to 30mph????? Whose safety should have more value - childs or horses???