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’