Agenda item


To receive petitions on traffic management matters submitted in accordance with the Sub-Committee’s Terms of Reference.


(a)     Petition for Traffic Calming Measures on Rotherfield Way

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the receipt of a petition, asking the Council to consider providing traffic calming measure on Rotherfield Way.

The report stated that on 22 February 2023 a petition had been submitted to the Council that had contained 157 signatures, 49 from paper forms and 108 from an electronic form.  The petition read as follows:

Rotherfield Way is a steep residential road, which is used as a through way by drivers travelling into Reading. There is a crossroads towards the top with Surley Row, just after a blind corner. Because drivers regularly speed down the hill, it is hazardous to cross any part of the road on foot, or to pull out from driveways, as well as from Surley Row (particularly the small narrow part). A major walking route to local schools crosses Rotherfield Way. There is a refuge right at the top of the road which actually exacerbates the problem, because drivers often speed away from it, ignoring the crossroads ahead.

We ask the Council to provide effective traffic calming measures on Rotherfield Way.”

The report explained that speed enforcement could only be undertaken by the Police and the issue of speeding motorists was challenging for a Local Authority.  With funding and resource limitations, alongside other policing priorities, enforcement could not be relied upon to provide a sustained method in which to deter speeding.  The Council had been and continued to lobby the government and Police for an increase in civil powers of enforcement against speeding motorists.  Local authorities had limited tools in which to address speeding, which were limited to the implementation of physical speed calming ‘features’ such as speed humps.  It was understandable that these would not be welcomed by many as they were indiscriminate and had an impact on the surrounding environment.  Consideration also needed to be given to the potential implications of some features to public transport vehicles, emergency service vehicles, active travel modes, and the feasibility in the context of the highway layout. For a Local Authority a scheme of features could also be resource-intensive and costly to design, install and maintain.  It was noted that until mooted mandatory technologies were in place to override motorist inputs and limit vehicle speeds, and/or autonomously impose fines on the offending motorist, there appeared to be no alternative to these physical measures. 

Many of the comments had requested additional pedestrian crossing facilities.  The Council had previously received such requests and the Sub-Committee had agreed to add this to the Requests for Traffic Management Measures list. There was no allocated funding for the development and delivery of the requested changes. It was noted that the existing entry on the Requests for Traffic Management Measures had been adjusted to reflect the receipt of the petition and expanded to include the request for traffic calming.  The entry would also be updated to reflect the latest road casualty data for the road supplied by the Police.  It was suggested that both elements should be considered for funding and developed as a single scheme.

At the invitation of the Chair the petition organiser, Leslie Wilson, addressed the Sub-Committee on behalf of the petitioners. 

Resolved –

(1)     That the report be noted;

(2)     That the existing request for a pedestrian crossing on Rotherfield Way contained within the regularly-reported ‘Requests for Traffic Management Measures’ be updated to reflect the receipt of this petition and the request for traffic calming.  This would be a proposed amendment to the existing entry of that part of the updated report;

(3)     That the lead petitioner be informed of the decisions of the Sub-Committee, following publication of the agreed minutes of the meeting;

(4)     That no public inquiry be held into the proposals.

Supporting documents: