speed limits

Speed is a major factor in about one third of road accidents in the United Kingdom. This is particularly so in urban areas, where speeding vehicles can adversely affect the quality of life of many communities.

How to request a change in speed limit

If you think a speed limit should be lowered, raised or extended, you should contact us and we will make an assessment. The council (acting as the traffic authority) will seek a police view on any proposed changes to a speed limit.

We will look at the characteristics of the road, such as its design, the level of activity alongside the road, the accident records and the effect on the local community caused by the speed of vehicles.

Before deciding to change an existing speed limit, the council must consider all the relevant factors such as:

  • Expected accidents savings
  • Improvements to the environment
  • Reduction in public anxiety
  • Improved facilities for vulnerable road users
  • Delays to traffic
  • Costs of implementation
  • Costs of enforcement, especially where the limit may be regarded as unreasonable by drivers

If it is considered that a change in the speed limit is needed then a new, legal Traffic Regulation Order has to be made. This involves a statutory process that usually takes approximately six to nine months to complete.

20mph limits and zones

20mph limits can be introduced on their own or, more usually, as part of an urban safety zone. A 20mph zone will usually include additional speed reduction measures such as speed humps, road texture, chicanes and narrowing of the carriageway. Reducing the speed limit to 20mph has a direct impact on general road safety for all users of the highway whether or not they are walking, cycling or driving.

How to report a damaged or missing speed limit sign

To report a damaged or missing sign, or a faulty light on a speed limit sign, please contact us

Highways and Engineering Division

Network Planning & Road Safety Team

Bolton Town Hall

Victoria Square



Telephone 01204 336677
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