The Lead Member for Transport and Environment met on 21 February 2022.  Attendances:-


                  Councillor Claire Dowling (Lead Member) 


                  Councillors Godfrey Daniel, Stephen Holt, Wendy Maples, Peter Pragnell, Pat Rodohan and Georgia Taylor.


1          Notice of Motion – 20 mph zones in roads surrounding schools and playgrounds 

1.1          The following Notice of Motion was submitted by Councillor Holt and seconded by Councillor Tutt:

a)    That this Council recognises the work already carried out by the East Sussex Road Safety Programme to reduce speeding in our county.

b)    That this Council requests that the Cabinet considers increasing the number of 20mph zones in roads surrounding schools and playgrounds, to further reduce incidents, anti-social driving and near misses.

c)    The Council requests that a report on plans to increase the ease for residents to apply for 20mph zones be submitted to a future Cabinet meeting.


1.2          In line with County Council practice, the Chairman referred the matter to the Lead Member for Transport and Environment for consideration to provide information and inform the debate.

East Sussex Road Safety Programme

1.3       The East Sussex County Council (ESCC) Road Safety programme tested the effectiveness of a variety of behavioural interventions to reduce the number of people Killed or Seriously Injured (KSIs) within identified priority groups. The programme of behaviour change work was supported by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT). As the evidence indicated that the vast majority of KSIs and over 90% of collisions result from driver carelessness or error, there was the need for specific measures to address these issues. Behaviour change initiatives were developed and implemented alongside a trial to improve road safety through targeted infrastructure and speed management schemes at high-risk sites.

1.4       The positive outcomes of the ESCC Road Safety Programme, included:

·         Notice of Intended Prosecution (NiP) Trial - receiving the redesigned NIP and leaflet significantly reduced speeding reoffending by 23% within 6 months. Over the 6-month trial this meant 170 fewer reoffences than business-as-usual, or 6 per week. This would translate to 560 fewer reoffences over the 6 months if everyone in the trial had received the new leaflet and new NIP

·         The Anniversary Trial - Drivers who received the Anniversary letter were 8% less likely to speed between 7 and 12 months later than those who did not. Over the 6-month trial this meant 80 fewer reoffences than business-as-usual, or 3 per week

·         High Risk Sites Trial - results from 15 schemes have indicated a 49% reduction in the average number of crashes per annum and a 61% reduction in the average number of casualties

1.5       Key elements of this programme were detailed data analysis, the robust evidence base and where possible the use of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs). Further information on the programme can be found in the report that was presented to the Places Scrutiny Committee in November 2021 (Agenda for Place Scrutiny Committee on Friday, 26th November, 2021, 10.30 am | East Sussex County Council).

20 mph speed zones/limits

1.6       Central government supports 20mph speed limits where appropriate. National legislation imposes an automatic 30 mph speed limit on roads provided with a system of street lighting (defined as ‘a system of street lighting furnished by means of lamps placed not more than 200 yards [183 metres] apart). This covers most residential and urban roads. These roads are given ‘restricted road’ status and no speed limit reminder signs are required to give effect to the speed limit.

1.7       To introduce a speed limit other than that imposed by restricted road status would require the making of a Traffic Regulation Order and the provision of traffic signs to give continual reminder of that speed limit.

1.8       Adopted Policy PS05/02 (which reflects national guidance and best practice) allows for 20mph zones/speed limits to be considered where they are likely to be self-enforcing. A 20-mph speed limit can be achieved with signs alone on roads where the mean (average) speed of traffic is below 24mph. On roads where mean speeds are higher, appropriate traffic management/calming measures would need to be introduced. PS05/02 is attached as Appendix 1. Sussex Police would not support any proposed 20 mph speed limits unless they were likely to be self-enforcing.

1.9       There are 191 schools in East Sussex, not including independent schools. The number of playgrounds is unknown. Information held by the Road Safety Team indicates that roads around 28 (15%) schools in East Sussex are already subject to a 20mph speed limit. These 20mph speed limits will have been introduced for a variety of reasons including traffic management, pedestrian improvements, and improvements to the built environment, and will have been funded from a range of sources including from our capital programme, developer contributions and funding provided by Town or Parish Councils

1.10     To introduce a 20mph speed limit on roads around the remaining 163 schools would require detailed investigation, design, and consultation, and it is estimated that it would cost several million pounds. Although some roads would only require a Traffic Regulation Order and speed limit signs to introduce a 20mph speed limit, many roads would require additional engineering measures so that average speeds were appropriate for a 20mph speed limit.

1.11     As part of the investigation undertaken for this report, schools in the county were plotted on our crash mapping system. Crashes involving child pedestrians (0-15 years old) were then identified from the latest three years of available data provided by Sussex Police (01/12/2018 to 30/11/2021). This analysis found that of the 191 schools listed 11 demonstrated at least one personal injury crash occurring within a 125-metre radius of the school relating to a child pedestrian (Appendix 2). A total of 13 child pedestrians were injured in the crashes identified. This compares to a total of 4,507 personal injury crashes occurring across the road network in the same period.

1.12     Although it is recognised that 20 mph speed limits are often well supported by local communities, a signed only 20mph speed limit will only produce a negligible change in driver behaviour with average speeds reducing by around 1 mph. In addition, we are not aware of any peer reviewed research that evidences that signed only 20mph speed limits reduce ‘incidents, anti-social driving or near misses’.

1.13     The Community Match Initiative already provides residents with the opportunity to take forward 20mph zones/speed limits where appropriate when these are funded locally. Where possible, we will support and assist local communities and town/parish councils to implement such schemes, if they are funded externally, or through Community Match.



Annual Road Safety Programme

1.14     All road safety concerns that are raised by members and residents are assessed by a member of the Road Safety Team and where appropriate improvements introduced. In addition, annually the Road Safety Team identifies sites that have the most personal injury crashes (PIC’s) and put in place a programme of works to help reduce the number of casualties on these roads. As part of this year’s Road Safety Programme, we have identified 59 locations where four or more PIC’s have occurred in the three-year assessment period of 01/01/2018 to 31/12/2020. This year’s Road Safety programme, with the number of PICs at each location, is included in Appendix 3.

Capital Programme for Local Transport Improvements

1.15     Each year the County Council develops and implements numerous local transport improvements funded through the capital programme. In 2021/22 total funding of £8.426m was allocated (a combination of County Council, Local Enterprise Partnership and developer funding) which will deliver over 50 schemes and studies across the county which include a number of road safety and active travel improvements.

1.16     All requested road safety and transport improvements, including 20mph speed limits are assessed against the established Local Transport Plan (LTP) priorities 2011 – 2026. The content of the capital programme is considered by the Lead Member for Transport and Environment on an annual basis. Key objectives against which requests are assessed include the extent to which it will:

·       Improve quality of life

·       Improve public safety and health

·       Improve the economy

·       Tackle climate change

·       improve accessibility to employment, education, health facilities and other services

1.17     A review of ESCC’s Local Transport Plan will commence from Spring 2022, when the Department for Transport are proposing to issue new local authority guidance for the development of ‘Local Transport Plans’. It has been indicated that LTP’s will need to focus on the need to decarbonise transport and integrate the governments levelling up, bus back better and gear change strategies. It is expected that the development of the plan will take approximately 18 months. Therefore, we are proposing to have an agreed plan in place by autumn 2023. A key element of the development of the plan will be to engage with members, local communities and businesses early in the development of the LTP to actively seek their views and comments. To provide member input and challenge an LTP Scrutiny Reference Group has recently been established.

‘School Streets’ trials

1.18     As part of the Department for Transport’s response to Covid-19 lockdown measures, the County Council secured Emergency Active Travel Tranche 2 funding, to run a six-week ‘School Streets’ trial. The aim of the trial was to improve safety on the journey to school, reduce congestion on the road outside of the school and to contribute to improving health and wellbeing. This project ran between 15 March 2021 and 7 May 2021 with access being restricted to roads surrounding the following six schools: -

·         Ark Blacklands Primary Academy, Hastings.

·         All Saints CofE Junior Academy, Hastings.

·         All Saints CofE Primary School, Bexhill,

·         Southover CofE Primary, Lewes.

·         Harbour Primary and Nursery School, Newhaven

·         Langney Primary Academy, Eastbourne.


Several specific project outcomes were achieved, these included: -

·         The perception of safety outside of the school – significant number of responses from all the schools reported the benefits to safety

·         Reduced congestion outside of the school - decrease in average daily vehicle counts outside of the school and vehicles parking in the roads adjacent to the school

·         Increase in active travel (walking & cycling) - Overall there was a 2.1% increase in active modes of travel - Park & stride increased significantly

·         Contributed to health & wellbeing – Schools and parents welcomed the space provided providing ‘people friendly spaces’, reducing safety related anxiety and noise and providing space for pupils to play


Details of the trial can be found at: -


1.19     Three schools included in the trial have been prioritised to assess the potential for permanent school street measures, these are All Saints CofE Primary School, Bexhill, Southover CofE Primary, Lewes and Langney Primary Academy, Eastbourne. Collaborative design workshops will be held during February and March 2022 with the school and local community to consider the potential issues and opportunities of a permanent scheme and to develop a concept design. LTP4 will include the development of an approach to potentially deliver schemes which re-allocate road space, with consideration towards the inclusion of such schemes on an annual programme of schemes within the ESCC Local Transport Capital Programme.


1.20     Following the positive outcomes from the evidence based East Sussex Road Safety programme, which included a reduction in speeding reoffences, positive attitudinal and behavioural changes of young drivers and a reduction in crashes and casualties, a further comprehensive programme is currently being developed.

1.21     In terms of casualty reduction, the current approach adopted by the Road Safety Team in identifying sites or routes that display a disproportionate number of crashes has been shown to produce the best results. Roads surrounding schools and playgrounds that demonstrate a history of personal injury crashes will continue to be identified for appropriate action, which may include 20mph zones/speed limits or other interventions.  

1.22     Each year the County Council develops and implements numerous local transport improvements funded through the capital programme, which can include 20mph schemes, traffic calming and pedestrian crossings. There is a simple process which residents can use to request improvements which are then assessed against clear prioritisation criteria.

1.23     The review of ESCC Local Transport Plan from 2022, will include the development of an approach to potentially deliver schemes which re-allocate road space (including School Streets).


1.24     The Lead Member for Transport and Environment recommends the County Council to:


Y approve an amended Notice of Motion as set out below:

(1)   The County Council is committed to working with all stakeholders to tackle road safety and recognises the work already carried out by the East Sussex Road Safety Programme which resulted in a reduction in speeding reoffences, crashes and casualties;

(2)   That this Council recognises the range of road safety improvements that are introduced each year, which can include 20mph schemes, traffic calming and pedestrian crossings, and endorses the current multi-faceted approach as set out in this report;

(3)   The County Council endorses the simple process that is in place for residents to request road safety measures, including 20mph schemes; and

(4)  The County Council recognises that the review of the East Sussex County Council Local Transport Plan will commence from Spring 2022 and requests that Road Safety interventions are part of that review.




21 February 2022                                      COUNCILLOR CLAIRE DOWLING

(Lead Member)