Campaigners Push For 20mph Speed Limit

Thu 6th May 2021

One of the UK’s leading road safety charities has asked the government to look at reducing speed limits to 20mph in residential areas following a successful trial in a major UK city.

With Global Road Safety Week later this month, GEM Motoring Assist have said that a trial in Bristol, where 20mph limits saw a 63 per cent reduction in fatal injuries over an eight year period, is the key pointer that lower speed limits save lives.

 “Low speed on roads can help save lives and are the heart of any community,” said Neil Worth, chief executive of GEM Motoring Assist.

“20mph speed limits where people and traffic mix make for streets that are healthy, green and liveable.

“That’s why the UN is calling them ‘streets for life.”

“So we are joining safety organisations around the world to make policymakers aware of the benefits of lower speed.

“We want to persuade them to act for low-speed streets worldwide, limiting speeds to 20 mph where people walk, live and play."

The government’s own research shows strong support for 20mph limits on roads where people live, with a Department for Transport survey showing that 70 per cent of motorists agree with reducing the limit.

The use of 20mph limits helps overall speeds on roads go lower according to a report from the University College of London. “The study shows that 20mph limits are generally supported and there is little call for the limit to be changed back to 30mph; even though most residents and users do not perceive vehicle speeds to have changed,” said Professor Mike Maher.

“Local residents and other road users generally perceive the 20mph limits as beneficial for local residents, pedestrians and cyclists.

“From a driver perspective, they make driving at a slower speed more acceptable.”