In the past, 20mph zones followed Department for Transport guidance which said they could be introduced, for example, as a casualty reduction measure or to improve public health.
To date, Kent has more than 1,000 roads with a 20mph zone or limit. In the past two years, 22 schemes covering 286 roads have been put in place.
Members at the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on Friday will hear how KCC is moving to a case by case approach rather than a blanket approach of where 20mph schemes are introduced.
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A two-stage approach is proposed, starting with ensuring there is strong community support.
This will be done by either the town/parish council/residents’ group who will seek local views.
They will also secure a scheme “sponsor” such as a county councillor/parish or town council/ or a member of their local Joint Transportation Board.
Following technical and safety approval, the scheme will be appraised against a list of local factors, such as whether it will help vulnerable road users around community centres, schools or shops.
To test success, KCC intends to run a series of research pilots to determine the effectiveness of alternative traffic calming measures at locations where the prevailing road speeds are between 24mph and 28mph.
To select the pilots, KCC will consider schemes that successfully undertake the two-stage process but have highlighted a prevailing road speed of between 24 and 28 mph and where the location supports the use of alternative traffic calming.
The pilot schemes will be evaluated after 12 months and outcomes reported back to the cabinet committee.