London parents want slower speeds for a safer school run

12 March 2015


New research from Sustrans reveals that two thirds (67%) of London parents want their school run to be on roads within 20mph limits.

Yet only 8% of parents surveyed currently report that they have routes to primary schools covered by 20mph, with nearly half (43%) having less than 25% of their route covered. This exposes the problem that speed limits are a postcode lottery where pedestrians and cyclists are safer in some areas than others.

The adoption of 20mph as the national default speed for built up areas is a realistic solution.

In a Gorkana Surveys poll of 2,000 adults with children in primary school in the United Kingdom, over two thirds (67%) stated that they would be more likely to walk or cycle to school if the speed was reduced to 20mph.

Parents in London were the most likely to want to walk or cycle to school if their journey was on roads where the speed was 20mph, with over 80% stating so.


Claire Francis, Sustrans Head of Policy commented:

“Road incidents are the biggest cause of preventable death and injury among children.’

“This poll reveals the stark gap between the public’s desire for safer roads specifically brought about by 20mph and what actually exists in their communities.’

“A national 20mph default speed limit in built-up areas would ensure that the majority of school journeys would be made along streets with slower speeds. This would make everyone’s journey safer and allow children and parents freedom to choose healthier alternatives to getting into the car for the school run.

“We need the law to change so that 20mph speed limits are the default in built up areas. 20mph improves safety and can reduce the need to spend on new infrastructure”.


Rod King MBE, Founder of 20s Plenty for Us commented:

“At the national 20mph conference in Cambridge today we will be highlighting the fact that many of the UKs largest urban authorities are already setting 20mph limits for 80-90% of their streets.’

“The current 30mph national limit is being rejected as “unfit for purpose” for communities so we’re setting out a series of government actions required for a planned transition to a UK default urban limit of 20mph by 2020.”