20 mph speed limits continue to be introduced on residential roads throughout Doncaster.
A traffic calming priority-ranking system for residential areas in Doncaster was first established in 1993 in order to take account of legislation allowing the designation of 20 mph speed limits by local highway authorities. This strategy provided valuable casualty reductions by targeting the areas which had the most serious existing casualty problems, however the potential benefits which could be achieved inevitably reduced when the worst affected areas had been treated. A large proportion of the residential areas across the Borough had experienced no casualties at all, and therefore offered little real potential for improvement. Traffic calming and other road safety projects have been implemented in the areas with significant casualty numbers, with the final area-wide 20 mph project to feature physical traffic calming measures completed in 2010.
There are however, wide variations in casualty numbers across the road network and it should be noted that only around 15 per cent of the overall total number of road casualties across the Borough occur in residential areas. It has therefore been necessary to reconsider the approach to traffic calming projects in order to permit the re-focusing of resources to areas of greatest potential benefit and largely to locations of concern along the main road network which is where most casualties occur.
In common with the development of 20 mph projects across the country as promoted by groups such as "20’s Plenty" and "Living Streets", the approach has now moved away from the installation of speed reducing physical traffic calming measures towards the application of area wide 20 mph speed limits indicated only by signs and road markings, due in part to the cost and adverse effects of these types of measures. This is intended to achieve a broad acceptance of 20 mph as the maximum speed limit applicable in most residential areas in order to bring about a safer environment for all road users.
An annual programme has recently been re-established to extend these types of 20 mph speed limit treatment to more residential areas across the Borough. It is planned to treat three residential areas each year with the areas selected according to current road safety priorities as indicated by Police road traffic collision data.