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.

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If you take a 30mph road and make it 20, most people ain't going to do 20.

Conversely, it's a massive waste of money making vast swathes of side streets 20mph when nobody every did more than 15 even when they were 30 zones. Our local council has plastered the district with 20mph signs costing hundreds of thousands - some of which are tiny side streets you would struggle to hit 10mph on.

Brake's survey and press release is purposely biased. Nobody is going to say they want cars to drive faster past their front door, yet the same people would be happy to say they want higher speed limits on their commute to work though.

I would rather the streets in our area were 20 mph than have destructive speed bumps everywhere. Somehow though, I doubt that the speed bumps would be removed if the lower limit were implemented.

What do you expect from road safety groups?

Said it before, say it again we'll soon have a man with a flag if these goons get their way.

No matter what the issue, surveys by pressure groups are likely to be self serving and not really worthy of too much attention. This country has always had a split personality between the "Mr Toads" and the "no faster than walking pace" fraternity.

Yes I agree,get rid of the speed bumps.Here in Queensland,Australia our rule is simple: side streets are 50kmh,no sighns.Then main roads are 60kmh or more,and have sighns.All school zones and some small shopping streets are 40kmh,sighnes.(40kmh=25mph)