IT IS not yet known how much it would cost to roll out 20mph speed limits across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Since deputy council leader Millie Earl said the authority 'intends' to roll out the lowered speed limit, residents have been split as to whether it would be a good idea or not. 

The Echo has asked BCP Council if it has considered how much it would cost to make the change.

However, Cllr Earl was unable to give a specific figure because a consultation has not been launched and the council don’t know what people want yet. 

Bournemouth Echo: Deputy leader Millie EarlDeputy leader Millie Earl (Image: BCP Council)

She said: “The costs associated with this depend on the scale and scope of the individual areas that might benefit from these 20mph speed limits and will be funded from the Local Transport Plan (LTP) Capital Programme.  

“If approved, the rollout would be undertaken in phases across future years, in the context of the amount of annual funding available as part of this programme.”

Read more: BCP Council intends to drop speed limit down to 20mph

Funding for such a scheme can only be allocated on an annual basis because the money comes from the Department for Transport, according to the authority. 

Further details are expected to come out in a report put to cabinet in the spring.

It's expected that the 2023/24 LTP Capital grant allocation for the council will be £7.9 million, comprising £3.1 million of Integrated Transport Block (ITB) funding and £4.8 million of highway maintenance funding (including pothole funding).  

Bournemouth Echo: Opposition leader Phil BroadheadOpposition leader Phil Broadhead (Image: Daily Echo)

Opposition leader Phil Broadhead blasted the administration, saying the proposals are even more “dangerous” as no costs have been factored in. 

He said: “The fact that the council clearly have no clue how much this proposal for default 20mph speed restrictions across BCP would cost just shows how dangerous this out-of-the-blue announcement actually is.  

Read more: Letter: '20mph limit wasn't in the manifesto' 

“The Lib Dem deputy leader was unequivocal in her stance on this to full council: she said the council would introduce this because it’s ‘what residents voted for’ in electing the current administration.  

“But did they really? Did they really vote for an unfunded, unpopular proposal at the very time that the council are proposing a raft of budget cuts on things that matter to real people?” 

Bournemouth Echo: Residential roads in Wales will be reduced to 20mph (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

He said funding "sensible” speed reductions around schools is “absolutely pragmatic” but that a default lower speed limit has proved “eye-wateringly expensive in Wales”. 

“[It’s] not only unnecessary but a waste of taxpayers' money which can and should be spent elsewhere,” he added. 

Cllr Earl added some roads would be ruled out of the transition "based on need and capacity", but insisted people will be consulted before any change.

“We will conduct a full public consultation before making any final decisions," she said.