CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

The case for 20mph speed limits

PUBLISHED: 16:17 28 April 2015 | UPDATED: 16:17 28 April 2015

An example of a 20mph speed limit on a residential road / Photo: 20splentyforus.org.uk

An example of a 20mph speed limit on a residential road / Photo: 20splentyforus.org.uk

Archant

Worcester councillor Matthew Jenkins explains why communities are pressuring councils for the implementation of a 20mph speed limit

An example of a 20mph speed limit on a residential road / Photo: 20splentyforus.org.ukAn example of a 20mph speed limit on a residential road / Photo: 20splentyforus.org.uk

There is a policy that local councils can introduce to greatly improve health quality by tackling inactivity, obesity and isolation, whilst also being child, disability, elderly and dementia friendly.

This policy is supported by numerous public health bodies such as NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), Public Health England, Association of Directors of Public Health and WHO (World Health Organisation). Plus, it would only cost around £3 per person to implement.

“What is this amazing policy?” I hear you ask. It is the introduction of 20mph speed limits on residential roads. The great benefits of wide-area 20mph speed limits may explain why they are becoming so popular throughout the country and across political parties. Already more than 14 million people live in local authorities that are adopting or have adopted the policy.

There are also many advantages beyond the clear health benefits of more walking and cycling, and less pollution. For instance, children and families are big winners as it helps them get around locally in a safer and more pleasant environment. Research shows that making places better for walking and cycling can boost trade by up to 40%; pedestrians spend more than people arriving by car.

What about some of the arguments against 20mph speed limits you may have heard, such as increased journey times, that they should be reserved only for outside schools, or that drivers often don’t obey 30mph speed limits so they are unlikely to obey 20mph? Such criticisms can be readily answered.

Driving at 20mph rather than 30mph has been shown to add only a tiny amount of time to journeys. Congestion is far more likely to delay drivers. Plus, with wide-area 20mph speed limits congestion actually reduces as traffic flows more freely and more people walk or cycle instead.

Having 20mph speed limits only outside schools will have no impact on the vast majority of child road casualties that occur elsewhere. Plus, older people and the disabled are vulnerable and also need protecting.

The fact that some drivers will break the speed limit is a poor reason to reject a reduction in road speeds. 20mph is 7-10 times safer than 30mph. Reducing the speed limit still reduces the average speed and every 1mph less has been shown to reduce casualties by 6%.

Many people assume that at lower speeds extra fuel is used and more pollution created. In fact, the reverse is true. Driving more slowly at a steady pace saves fuel. Plus, as roads become safer more people are happy to leave their cars at home and choose to walk or cycle. Fewer cars equals less pollution.

The argument in favour of wide-area 20mph speed limits is very strong. There may already be a group in your area that is pushing for 20mph speed limits. If not, you can get together with other people in your community to set one up. The group ‘20s Plenty for Us’ can help you organise a campaign to get 20mph limits where you live; visit their website to find out more: www.20splentyforus.org.uk.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Yesterday, 15:25

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Yesterday, 14:39

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search