Norman Baker, the transport minister, used his speech at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference (19/09/11) to unveil plans to make it easier for councils to introduce 20mph schemes.
A new traffic signs policy document to be put before MPs will permit councils to paint 20mph roundels on the road surface rather using lampposts, without needing to seek permission from ministers. The Government hopes that this more cost effective way of introducing 20mph limits could encourage more councils to implement the zones.
Norman Baker said: “When the House returns next month I will be laying before Parliament a new traffic signs policy document. This will cut pointless form-filling by streamlining Traffic Regulation Orders, cutting time and saving money.
“The traffic signs review will also end the need for Whitehall approval for special authorisations for a whole range of signs, so councils will for example be able to erect ‘No Entry Except Cyclists’ signs without having to ask Whitehall first.”
Under a ‘decluttering agenda’ councils will also be able to remove redundant signs that are no longer necessary.
Norman Baker added: “In recognition of the environmental advances being made, there will be new signs to promote safer cycling and help pedestrians, to discourage HGVs from using inappropriate routes, and to inform motorists of electric vehicle charging points. And in carefully selected locations, occasional signs will be permitted to alert motorists to alternative ways of getting from A to B, for example by giving the journey duration of the parallel rail service. This will help cut carbon and ease congestion on our roads.”
Click here to read Norman Baker’s speech in full.