20mph zones must stay in Bath and North East Somerset

cyclists pass 20mph road

There is a well-established body of evidence that shows slower speeds mean fewer collisions and that when collisions do happen injuries are much less severe

20mph sign in Bristol

We strongly support the need for universal speed limits for all urban areas across the UK

18 December 2017

We have called on Bath and North East Somerset Council to keep its 20mph zones following comments regarding safety on roads with the reduced speed limit.

In a statement released today we have called on local authorities across the country to heed evidence showing that 20mph zones are safer.

James Cleeton, Sustrans’ Director in the South of England, said:

“There is a well-established body of evidence that shows slower speeds mean fewer collisions and that when collisions do happen injuries are much less severe. A study published in the British Medical Journal looking back over 20 years of data concluded 20mph zones had halved the number of children killed or seriously injured.”

“Lower speed limits make our streets safer, more inclusive and attractive for all. We strongly support the need for universal speed limits for all urban areas across the UK.”

Our statement also follows findings publishing this year by the Department for Transport showing that eight out of ten drivers are ignoring the 20 mph speed limit.

Dr Adrian Davis, Professor of Transport and Health at the University of the West of England in Bristol, also responded to the comments made, saying: 

“20mph speed limits have been tested in many local authority areas since the first significant UK trial in Scotland in 2000. Evidence to date shows that they reduce speed and casualties. It is, however, simply not appropriate to evaluate the road safety effects on casualty numbers after one year given likely random variations over such small lengths of time. Between three and five years of data is required. It is unscientific to make any such conclusion after just one year regarding effects on casualty numbers. To do so is likely to be misleading."

James Cleeton makes it clear that Sustrans supports the Government’s guidance, saying:

“This is something local authorities should be investing in so all of us can enjoy safer streets.”

Read our blog to find out why we support 20mph limits