A reduced road speed limit along the B3400 around Whitchurch is being proposed by Hampshire County Council. Currently, most sections of the B3400 out of towns and villages is at the national speed limit. The changes will make little difference to the time it takes to drive to Andover or Basingstoke. In all but one case, the existing measured speed of vehicles was lower than the proposed new limits anyway – they are after all the MAXIMUM limit.
Approval for the changes is being sought from Hampshire County’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport on the 17 January 2012 following a speed limit review of A and B roads throughout Hampshire.
UPDATE 17 August 2014: The speed limit along the B3400 towards Hurstbourne Priors is reduced to 40mph initially then 50mph for rest of the way to there.
B3400 TO BASINGSTOKE
The speed limit proposals for the B3400 east towards Overton and Basingstoke are to:
- keep existing limit of 40mph from The Gables through Wells-In-The-Field and on to Laverstoke
- reduce limit to 50mph for Rotten Hill east of Laverstoke leading into Overton
- keep existing of 30mph through Overton
- reduce limit to 50mph for the rest of the route to New Found and Oakley
Thus, the travel time to Basingstoke would increase by 43 seconds if driving at the new speed limits. In other words, it will still take 25 minutes to drive the 10.5 miles by car to the Aquadrome.
The Rotten Hill section of the B3400 in the study had the 3rd highest collision rate (a complicated measurement) in all of Hampshire and was the highest within the Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council area at 121 collisions per 100 million vehicle km. In direct measurements, that section of road had 13 collisions of which 5 were fatal or with serious injury over the past 5 years.
B3400 TO ANDOVER
The speed limit proposals for the B3400 west towards Hurstbourne Priors and Andover are to:
- reduce limit to 40mph for a third of a mile after the 30mph zone on Church Street ends
- reduce limit to 50mph for the rest of the way into Hurstbourne Priors
- keep the existing limit of 40mph through Hurstbourne Priors
- reduce limit to 50mph for half a mile beyond Hurstbourne Priors towards Andover
Thus, the travel time to Andover would increase by 27 seconds if driving at the new speed limits. In other words, it will still take 18 minutes to drive the 7 miles by car to the Tesco superstore. The proposed new 40mph limit section is the only part of the B3400 to have a slightly higher measured existing speed – 43mph – than the proposed new limit; it has the 8th highest collision rate.
HIGH COLLISION RATE
The Hampshire-wide initial investigation looked at 292 route sections that covered 780 miles of ‘A’ and ‘B’ class roads. Of them, 140 sections have proposed new limits – and 59 of them are noted has having a collision rate over the past 5 years that is higher than the Government threshold.
COST OF £450,000
If approved, the implementation would be in the 2012 and 2013 financial years at a cost of £450,000, of which £185,000 is for installation of signs across all of Hampshire under these proposals.
The plans for improving the roads for cyclists in particular is encompassed separately in Hampshire’s Transport Strategy which can be found in their Local Transport Plan.
REDUCE ALL ACCIDENTS BY 12%
A Department of Transport study demonstrated “beyond doubt that the faster drivers choose to travel, the more likely they are to be involved in an accident, and that higher speeds on roads with otherwise similar characteristics are associated with more accidents.”
The DoT study also stated that reducing the limit from 60mph to 50mph would likely reduce the average mean speed by 2.5mph, which would be expected to reduce all injury accidents by 12%.
The “A” / “B” road review is on the Hampshire County website HERE and the general information about road speeds is HERE. The Local Transport Plan is HERE. The Department of Transport study into the relationship between speed and accidents on rural single-carriageway roads is HERE (see section 6.4 regarding speed limits).