A REQUEST for expansion of the 20mph speed zone in Salisbury has been turned down by Wiltshire Council.

Salisbury city councillors made the request during a consultation on 20mph speed limits and speed zones conducted by Wiltshire before it approved an updated policy last month.

The county council only intends introducing 20mph limits where the average speed is already below 24mph, although it maintains it will be flexible. A report on the policy says: “In order to be successful, speed limits require the respect of drivers.”

There are already 75 operational 20mph zones in Wiltshire. In its consultation response, the city council said it wanted to see 20mph zones introduced “in all urban areas” as part of the development of town cycle networks in Wiltshire, as outlined in a previous transport plan.

It said that since the Salisbury city centre 20mph zone was introduced, casualties had been reduced by 46 per cent over a three-year period.

It also said a scheme in Laverstock, in which the central white line was removed and cycle lanes added, had also been “very successful in slowing traffic and making a safer environment for cyclists”.

However, in papers to the committee, Wiltshire Council officers rejected Salisbury City Council’s opinion, saying the transport plan had not proposed 20mph zones “across all urban areas in Salisbury”.

Elsewhere in the papers they said the new policy seeks to introduce 20mph restrictions “where the benefits are real, true and measurable” and not just done for popularity or political gain.

They added that there was little evidence of casualty reduction since the 20mph zones were installed.

And although Community Speedwatch volunteers are now allowed to operate in 20mph zones and police will enforce the limit where there are serious breaches, Neighbourhood Policing Teams will not routinely enforce the limits.

The policy report says £650,000 is available for community area transport groups to use on new 20mph restrictions and suggested that as many as 36 schemes could be proposed within two years. It says a 20mph limit covering a village costs Wiltshire up to £10,000, and a 20mph zone with traffic calming can cost between £80,000 and £250,000.