More 20mph zones are expected to be introduced in Devon next year after the county council secured a further £150,000 for them.

Lower speed limits were approved for the four ‘most in need’ Devon communities this year, part of a new way of considering 20mph requests.

The new ‘prioritisation system’ was introduced because of the high number of such requests to the council. It involved ‘expressions of interest’ from local communities for new areas, of which 105 were received.

Each scheme was assessed, taking into account average speeds at key locations and the number of vulnerable road users in the area.

Other factors include the speed related collision history, the level of community support, the presence of an active ‘community speed watch’ group and the community’s deprivation index ranking.

The four highest-ranked applications were selected areas of Tiverton and Winkleigh, and all the roads in Atherington (North Devon) and Ashburton.

Updating councillors at a full meeting on Thursday [8 December], Devon’s highways chief Cllr Stuart Hughes (Conservative, Sidmouth) revealed there will be another chance for areas to secure cash for new 20mph zones in the next financial year.

A written report outlined how a further £150,000 has been secured in the council’s road safety capital allocation for 2023/24, adding: “Six further communities could benefit from new 20mph limits with this additional funding.”

The council plans to use the same system for rating applications again. Communities do not need to resubmit expressions of interest, as they will be reviewed again and against any new bids, but existing proposals can be modified.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Hughes said the council was open to funding more schemes should extra money be found, while he also invited parish councils to get involved “if they would like to pay for some of the schemes.”

Opposition leader Cllr Julian Brazil (Lib Dem, Kingsbridge) added: “There are lots of parishes and communities that have plenty of money in the bank and would only be too keen to spend that on implementing 20mph zones.”

All new or modified submissions must be completed by 31 January.