Overwhelming public support for 20mph limits

02/04/2014
Highways Reporters

A survey carried out by road safety charity Brake shows that eight in 10 people (78%) think 20mph should be the normal speed limit around schools, on residential streets, and in village, town and city centres.

The news comes as Brake takes it GO 20 campaign for safe, active, happy communities to parliament, calling on politicians to support the introduction of 20mph as the default urban speed limit.

The Brake and Allianz Insurance survey also found:


  • Seven in 10 (72%) say roads in their town or village need to be made safer for walking and cycling


  • Eight in 10 (81%) say traffic travels too fast on some (51%) or most (30%) of their local roads


  • Eight in 10 (79%) think it would encourage more people to walk or cycle if roads and routes in their town or village were made safer


  • Speakers at the Brake and Allianz Insurance GO 20 parliamentary reception today (2 April) will discuss the benefits of 20mph limits and progress being made by local authorities in implementing them.


With an estimated 12.5 million people in the UK now living in areas implementing or committed to widespread 20mph limits, Brake argues the country is reaching a tipping point where it makes social and economic sense to make a national change in our default, to the benefit of communities everywhere.

Areas that have already introduced 20mph limits have seen significant reductions in casualties, such as Portsmouth where they fell by 22%, and Camden, where crashes reduced by 54%. Other high profile local authorities now GOing 20 include the City of London, Birmingham, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

As well as calling on national government to change the default urban limit to 20mph, Brake continues to encourage and support local authorities to GO 20 through implementing widespread 20 limits across cities, towns and villages. Drivers can also help protect people on foot and bike right away, by slowing down to 20mph around homes, schools and shops, even where the limit is still 30mph.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: "The GO 20 campaign is about defending everyone's right to walk and cycle freely without being endangered, whether it's to get to work, school, the shops, or just getting out and being active. We need to tackle the senseless and violent casualties that continue to happen daily on our roads, and we need to enable people to live healthy, active, social lives. It's clear that 20mph limits in communities can help bring this about – and it's clear this is what people want. That's why so many local authorities are making the switch from 30mph to 20mph.”
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