Speed limits

Speed is a significant factor in about one third of road accidents in the United Kingdom.

This is particularly so in urban areas like Salford, where speeding vehicles can adversely affect the quality of life of many communities. The speed limit on most major roads in Salford is 30 miles per hour.

Unless drivers are told otherwise by a speed limit sign they should travel at 30 miles per hour. The Highway Code defines the speed limit as:

"The absolute maximum (that you should travel) and does not mean (that) it is safe to drive at that speed irrespective of conditions. Driving at speeds too fast for the road and traffic conditions can be dangerous."

In general terms, the higher the speed limit the further that road users can see. Speed limits are designed to make the road that you travel on safe by making sure that you have enough time to react to unforeseen circumstances and stop safely.

Remember, your vehicle speed affects your stopping distance.

Frequently asked questions

What are speed limits for?

Speed limits are introduced to ensure greater road safety. Measures for influencing the speed of vehicles generally fall into two categories, legislative and physical. Speed limits fall into the first category whereas traffic calming devices would fall into the second.

Comprehensive information on the speed limits you would expect to come across on the different category of road is given in chart form in the Highway Code.

Who sets the speed limits?

The Highways Agency, a division of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, is ultimately responsible for setting speed limits, but the responsibility is delegated locally. In Salford this responsibility falls to the council in consultation with the police.

How does the council decide the speed limit?

Setting a speed limit is a complicated task and many things must be considered, such as:

  • the alignment of the road
  • the speed most motorists expect to travel along this road
  • the type of road and where it is located

How can I change a speed limit?

If you think that a speed limit is unsuitable please contact us with details. Your request will be checked by an engineer and a survey may be carried out to measure the speed of traffic. Information will also be collected on other road users such as pedestrians, children and people with a disability. This information will then be assessed to see if further action is needed.

Further action may mean changing the speed limit or, if the appropriate limit is being ignored, considering measures to reduce vehicle speeds.

More information on the effects of speeding is available.

This page was last updated on 24 November 2016

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