There could be changes to how 20mph speed limits are rolled out in Hampshire, if new plans are approved.

Parish and town councils in Hampshire could request and fund 20mph speed limits in suitable zones on a full cost recovery basis under new county council speed limit criteria.

All proposed speed limit changes will still require approval from the county council, as the highway authority, and must meet the technical criteria set out within the revised policy position.

The revised policy position for 20mph speed limits and zones, which sets out the criteria for the local authority to introduce new speed restriction zones, will be presented by the council at a meeting on January 15.

The update comes one year after the “20mph task and finish working group” presented its findings and recommendations to the Universal Services Transport and Environment Select Committee, which some task and finish group members did not support.

The revised policy position will provide a mechanism, similar to the successful Community Funded Traffic Management Initiative, for individual parish and town councils to request and fund 20mph speed limits and zones on a full cost recovery basis.

Those who wish to apply for a 20mph speed limit or zone must pay for any needed investigations, including traffic surveys and the full design and installation cost of any new measures.

As part of the costs, those councils will be required to pay a “commuted sum” which enables the county council to maintain all the new signs, posts, road markings and other measures going forward.

An application form will be produced and made available shortly. It will be subject to a non-refundable application fee of £175 to cover the initial technical and prioritisation assessments.

The fee required to progress a traffic order, which involves the statutory consultation process necessary to make any speed limit changes legal and enforceable, is about £10,000.

This fee does not include the expenses associated with investigating, designing, and installing the scheme.

Even if a proposed change in speed limit is considered justified, it is important to note that there is no guarantee that it will be implemented.

The proposal must go through the statutory traffic order process, which includes advertising and consultation before the decision-making process can begin. At this point, any concerns or objections raised by the local community will be taken into consideration, the county council said.

Parish and town councils will have to pay upfront for all scheme costs, and these costs won’t be refunded if a scheme is rejected. Hence, a report said, it’s important to demonstrate local support before applying for a new 20mph speed limit or zone.

Where considered appropriate, introducing new 20mph limits and zones will continue to be assessed as a “casualty reduction” solution.

Locations with a history of speed-related collisions, based on police “injury collision record data”, will continue to be progressed and funded by the county council. Police injury collision data will also be a vital factor in scheme prioritisation.

The county council will also consider introducing 20mph speed limits and zones as part of schemes and projects that support modal shifts to more active travel modes or as part of a public realm, placemaking or regeneration improvement.

Requests for potential schemes will be subject to a detailed technical and legal assessment and prioritisation and ranking to efficiently and effectively direct the County Council’s limited resources.

Hampshire County Council said that no additional funding is available to provide new schemes beyond those that would benefit casualty reduction.

Therefore, schemes would only be progressed via the Community Funded Initiative, grant funding opportunities or other external funding such as developer contributions.

Universal Services Select Committee members will debate the updated policy next week.