The speed limit is the absolute maximum and does not mean 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. You must not exceed the maximum speed limits for the road and for your vehicle. See The Highway Code for further guidance.
We are responsible for speed limits on all public roads, except motorways and trunk roads (e.g. M621,M62,M1) which are the responsibility of the Highways Agency.
Speed limits can be introduced in two ways:
- By means of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for speed limits from 20mph to 60mph;
- Street lights usually mean that there is a 30 mph speed limit unless there are signs showing another limit. A higher limit can be set by a TRO. If there is a speed limit set by a TRO then an automatic limit will not be put in place. If there a 30mph speed limit is imposed by street lighting, ‘repeater’ signs are not permitted by law.
What speed limits can be introduced?
20mph zones - Must have in place a significant number of speed reducing features which can reduce the speed of most traffic so that speeds are kept down to 20mph throughout the zone. Our resources will be directed towards areas where there have been accidents.
20mph limits - These can be introduced where traffic speeds are already restricted the layout and alignment of the road, where existing speeds are already low and traffic calming measures are not needed.
30mph limits – Usual in built-up areas where there are schools, houses and pedestrian crossings.
40mph limits - Apply in built-up areas that have fewer hazards. Buildings may be set back further from the carriageway, or only one side of the road may be built up. These limits may also appear as a ‘buffer’ between two other speed limits.
50mph limits - May be suitable on rural or suburban roads that are lightly built-up, or imposed on roads where there have been a number of accidents because of fast moving traffic.
60mph limits - Can be applied on dual carriageways that have particular hazards or pass through urban areas.
Enforcement - The enforcement of speed limits is the responsibility of West Yorkshire Police.
Speed Limit Review
In line with Department for Transport requirements, the City Council has undertaken a review of the existing speed limits on all Class A and B roads in the District. The criteria for setting local speed limits on classified roads was amended in 2006, and Local Highway Authorities asked to consider whether their existing speed limits were still appropriate.
The information sheet and plans relating to this can be downloaded on this page.