20mph speed limit proposals spark disagreement

2 Apr, 2014 11:50am Jake-Aman Shah

Majority of drivers back the introduction of a 20mph limit, but motoring group says residents have to be consulted first

Seven out of 10 drivers believe that a 20mph limit is necessary on residential streets, near schools and town centre areas. That’s according to a study by road safety charity, Brake, and Allianz Insurance.

However, the AA believes residents need to be consulted before measures are implemented. "We are emphasising the consultation process. Residents should be consulted before the speed limits are put in place", an AA spokesman said.

• Speed limit increase makes roads safer

There is already a strong precedent for lower speed limits, given that Islington, in North London already operates a borough wide 20mph limit and Camden, another North London borough, is currently in the implementation phase. Recently released statistics also show a 54 per cent decline in collisions in Camden’s 20mph zones.

In the same Brake survey, 72 per cent people said roads in their towns and villages need to be made safer for walking and cycling, while 81 per cent believed that traffic travels too fast on their local roads.

• Drivers opting for Speed Awareness Course over points

The charity is now calling for national government support in introducing these measures, with proposals set to go to Parliament.

But the issue isn’t clear-cut. The AA points out that 75 per cent of the people surveyed said that 20mph limits should not be in place on roads where there are no houses, schools and shops. Meanwhile, 8 per cent wanted speed information displays (flashing speed warning signs), which may point to a belief that it's harder to comply with 20mph limit.