Speed limits

Drivers must travel within the law and at speeds that are suitable for the surrounding conditions.

Both the council and the police highlight the dangers of inappropriate speed to motorists. However, this can be difficult to control.

Our aim is to adopt a set of speed limits which are respected by the community. Speed limits should be logical and enforced by the surrounding road conditions. It is also important to have a consistent approach.

We work in partnership with the police when reviewing speed limits as they are the enforcing authority. To change an existing speed limit, the police need evidence that a revised limit would be suitable and that motorists will follow it.

A speed limit must not rely on police enforcement.

Reporting issues with speed limits

The council cannot help with all issues relating to speed limits. Check the information below to find out who to report an issue to.

Existing speed limits

Local speed limits are set by councils and the police enforce them.

Thames Valley Police (TVP) have limited resources available for the routine enforcement of speed limits. Enforcement activity is prioritised by factors like the:

  • number of recorded personal injury accidents, where speed was a contributory factor
  • typical recorded vehicle speeds

If you want to request enforcement of existing speed limits, you can:

Speed cameras

We work in partnership with TVP on the assessment of fixed speed camera enforcement requests.

TVP are responsible for all speed camera enforcement but the council have a role in providing and maintaining the fixed camera housings. As such, both authorities need to agree on the need for a fixed speed camera.

The current criteria for a new enforcement camera are:

  • a history of speed related injury accidents in the area where the camera is being requested
  • evidence of consistent vehicle speeding

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) set enforcement thresholds for all speed limits. Speeding evidence is compared against these to work out if enforcement action is needed.

Within Bracknell Forest our comparatively good safety record has resulted in no new sites meeting these criteria for some years.

Mobile speed enforcement

The majority of speed enforcement is undertaken using mobile speed cameras. This means that enforcement can be targeted towards areas of community concern should TVP agree that there is a need for enforcement and that an appropriate location to carry out the enforcement can be found.

If you feel there is a road safety issue that could be addressed with mobile speed enforcement, you can:

Community SpeedWatch

This initiative enables local people to be actively involved in combating excessive speed where residents are most concerned.

Neighbourhood groups or parish and town councils are often a trigger for this type of scheme. SpeedWatch locations are usually selected from sites suggested by the community, based on their local knowledge of where speeding is a problem.

After completing a short induction training session, volunteers can use speed measuring equipment to check the speed of vehicles and capture the registration numbers of vehicles travelling above the ACPO enforcement thresholds.

Vehicle details are entered into the Thames Valley Police database and warning letters can be sent to the registered keepers explaining the dangers of speeding and the problems that it can cause to people living in the area. Persistent offenders who disregard the warning notices could face further enforcement action.

If you are interested in participating in a SpeedWatch scheme, you should contact your local parish or town council.

20mph speed limits

We do not support the introduction of 20mph speed limits for all residential roads. These speed limits are reserved for locations where there is evidence of a road safety issue.

Considerations include:

  • the road safety record
  • the layout and visibility of the road
  • existing vehicle speeds
  • any other local factors

Other speed reducing measures

We have an adopted code of practice which sets out where speed reducing measures are considered appropriate. In these cases, it is important to provide measures which are cost effective and proportionate.

Where action is necessary to influence driver behaviour, we first consider conventional approaches such as enhanced signs and road markings. Traditional traffic calming measures, such as road humps or chicanes, are only considered if there is evidence of speed related injury accidents and where typical vehicle speeds often exceed the police’s enforcement threshold.

How to contact us

If you think that a local speed limit should be changed, or if you want to contact us about other traffic calming measures, please use our traffic report and enquiry form.

You can also contact us about traffic congestion on this form.

Make a traffic report or enquiry