Vehicle Speed Policy

Ashford Borough Council is committed to supporting the introduction of lower speed limits within the Borough. It hopes to see more schemes being introduced and has adopted a Vehicle Speed Policy to help encourage this to happen.  

Vehicle Speed Policy August 2022 [pdf] 503KB

Road safety, and ensuring effective speed management, is an important part of creating a safe environment for us all. The relationship between speed and likelihood of collision as well as severity of injury is complex, but there is clearly a strong correlation.

The setting of speed limits is primarily a government responsibility and in the case of residential streets in both urban and rural areas, the national 30mph speed limit is normally applied. This national limit is not, however, appropriate for all roads. Traffic authorities, in our case Kent County Council (KCC), are able to set local speed limits in situations where local needs and conditions suggest a speed limit which is different from the national speed limit. The Borough Council does however recognise the part it has to play in supporting the application of lower speed limits and generally promoting road safety.

It is the Borough Council’s belief that the national limit of 30mph in our residential streets in urban and rural areas is not always appropriate, and that in many situations a lower limit of 20mph would be beneficial. The council often receives concerns over speed limits within the vicinity of schools and when approaching our rural villages, where limits may be even higher.

In order to support the introduction of lower speed limits, the Borough Council has established a fund that can be used to contribute to the delivery of approved KCC schemes. The process for seeking approval for the actual schemes, however, rests entirely with KCC who are responsible for ensuring road safety on the county’s roads. Once a scheme is approved, a payment of up to £2,500 can be made by the Borough Council to support the schemes implementation. Grants for up to four schemes can be made each year (i.e. £10,000 in total).

KCC provide a lot of guidance on the processes to be followed to change roads which can be found via the following link - Changing roads in your area - Kent County Council.  Note in particular the importance of establishing support from the community and ward members. What is important, however, is to contact KCC to see what potentially could be done – there may be other options to introducing a change in speed limit. They are definitely best placed to advise you on this subject. 

Further details on 20mph speed limits are available at Benefits of 20mph limit schemes - Kent County Council.

Finally, a key element of the Ashford Vehicle Speed Policy is to support KCC actions towards its Vision Zero. Details of KCC’s Vision Zero Road Safety Strategy: Vision Zero Road Safety Strategy - Kent County Council

For more information on the Borough Council’s grant please email catherine.darlington@ashford.gov.uk

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