Advantages and implementation of 20mph limit



  1. 1.        Casualty Reduction
  • Significant reduction in number and severity of road casualties. Hit by a car at 30mph, 1 in 5 pedestrians/cyclists will be killed; hit at 20mph  it will be 1 in 40. Whatever the cause of the accident it is the speed which determines whether someone lives or dies as driver has more (or less) time to take evasive action. Research on impact of 300 schemes in London over 20 years, road casualty numbers fell by 42%. In an urban area, each reduction of 1mph results in a 6% reduction in casualty levels.
  • Much safer for vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists, particularly elderly, disabled/sensory impaired and children – cannot move as quickly, reaction time slower, research shows they cannot judge speed of vehicle if it’s moving at over 20mph; older people face a greater risk of fatality if hit compared to younger people; so 20mph is a fairer balance of motorist and non-motorist use of our public space and council’s Equality duties.
  1. 2.       Enforcement (Concern)
  • Has not been good in the past, but cannot rely on enforcement alone. (Take Drink Driving as an example) Has to include Education, awareness raising, change in culture, marketing and local engagement i.e. multi agency collaboration and campaign. Following the issue of new guidance by the ACPO in Oct 2013 it is now policy of the police to enforce 20mph. Enforcement is now happening in London.


  • The Met Police has set up a 2,300 officer strong Transport & Policing Command and at a Road Danger conference in 2014 it was confirmed that the Met supports enforcement due to the success and impact that enforcement has had on dangerous behaviour on our roads. Members of the Community can now play a role in monitoring speeds through Community Speed Watch and ward panels/neighbourhood panels can set policing priorities and enforcement as a priority.


3. Support

  • High levels of support across the UK, which increases after  20mph are introduced
  • Support over last 4- 5 years from TfL, Dept of Transport, GLA including calling for more 20mph
  • A large range of organisations concerned with public health as well as road safety campaigners.

e.g Dept of Transport asked Loc Councils to keep speed limits under review & to consider the introduction of more 20mph limits to ensure greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists.


4. Public Health & Other benefits

Obesity: Lower  (in LBRuT) than other parts of London, but remains high and  a serious Public Health concern according to Council’s own Pub Health Report. (Levels of child obesity in borough doubles between ages 4 and 11). Public Health England states that creating an environment where people choose to walk and cycle may be more cost effective than other initiatives which promote exercise and moving to a default 20mph is the most cost effective to achieve this at present. Traffic speeds