Letter in Local Transport Today

Unanswered questions about the DfT’s 20mph study Rod King Founder And Campaign Director 20’S Plenty For Us Lymm WA13 10 May 2019 The debate about 20mph limits seems to be rumbling on in your pages but consultant Atkins and the DfT still haven’t answered the questions posed in my LTT letter of 1 March regarding the use of comparator areas for casualty reductions. It may be useful to recap on the key issues that remain unclear: the report only looked at eight small case studies of residential roads in its casualty analysis, plus part of Brighton. The size of these areas varied considerably and whilst Winchester (Stanmore) had only four collisions per annum and Walsall (Rushall) just one collision on average for the five years beforehand, the Brighton (phase two) case study had 92 collisions per annum. In fact, on average Brighton comprised 46 per cent of the total dataset of collisions. Hence, when the results were indexed and aggregated, the outcome was overly influenced by the Brighton figures. This should have sounded a warning bell to the authors that this was not a robust set of data to be used in such an evaluation. Continue reading

The Climate Emergency – 20mph Reduces Emissions, helps traffic reduction and reduces oil dependency.

By Anna Semlyen, Cutting Your Car Use author, National Campaign Manager of 20’s Plenty for Us Climate activists are ramping up direct action because scientists say we are running out of time for politicians to act before the 1.5-2 degree warming that is irreversible.  Top personal ways to decarbonise and prevent climate chaos are to stop eating meat and to stop flying.  20mph limits enter the climate debate as crucial to reduce fossil fuel use for transport in towns and villages. Politicians must act to make it more possible for citizens to ‘do their bit’ to get about the places they live in greener ways. Continue reading

Report from PACTS meeting calling for 20mph policy

Professor John Whitelegg gave a presentation at the PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Transport Safety) on the need  for PACTS to update its policy to universally adopt the policy of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) on urban and village streets with regard to adopting 30km/h or 20mph limits. His report follows :- Continue reading

Lower speed limits save 5x more road casualties than targeted interventions

A guest blog from Adrian Berendt of 20's Plenty for Kent and Campaigner of the year - 2018 Introduction Road safety professionals often prefer targeting road safety improvements on particularly dangerous roads and junctions? Others consider it better to make more general interventions with a wider impact, known as the ‘prevention paradox’, e.g. health impact of immunisation. We assess which approach is better by comparing two alternative approaches[1]. 1) Targeted interventions on rural A roads. We use the example of the £100m fund for specific interventions as proposed by the UK government; and 2) Prevention Paradox – lowering overall speeds by a few miles per hour with wide area 20mph on urban non-A roads. Our analysis shows that spending the same money on Alternative 2, the “Prevention Paradox” saves 5 times the number of KSIs as targeted rural A road interventions.   [1] We eliminated three other road types as potential candidates: Motorways: few casualties and atypical of the UK road network; Rural non-A roads: extensive, carry little traffic and have few casualties; and Urban A roads: mixed characteristics of each of the road types chosen; might need a combination measures. Continue reading

Scottish 20mph Bill - Consultation Response

We have just submitted our response to the Rural and Economic Connectivity Committee of the Scottish Parliament consultation regarding the "Restricted Roads (20mph speed limit) (Scotland) Bill". This bill will set a national 20mph limit (instead of 30mph) for most restricted roads with the ability of local traffic authorities to make exceptions which will retain a 30mph limit. It provides for national consistency and local flexibility. "We applaud the Scottish Government in progressing this bill to its current stage. It provides a huge opportunity to align Scotland to what is becoming best practice across the world and especially in more socially aware countries. It aligns Scotland with such countries as Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Austria, Germany and Japan where 30kmh is the accepted norm in communities whether urban or rural. It will move Scotland away from the English model of inconsistent local setting of speed limits on built-up roads based on council priorities, values and empathy with communities. It will instead provide for a common national value of how roads are shared and do what national governments do best by setting those standards, facilitating implementation yet still allowing the flexibility for exceptions to be determined locally." Our full response follows.  Open PDF Continue reading

2018 Review and plans for 2019

It's usual at this time of the year to review the previous year and set out our aspirations for the next. For the 20's Plenty (mph) and Love 30 (kmh) movement 2018 has been another remarkable year moving us forward and creating better communities across the world. And all of this is primarily due to individuals, volunteers and campaigners in their communities saying that they want them to be more liveable, more convenient, more easy to cycle and walk and more safer for them and their children. For me, the most noticeable change in our campaigning in 2018 was that in addition to supporting local communities wanting their local council t set 20mph limits we have been campaigning at national level to set 20mph as the default for most urban and residential roads. And hence we celebrate our successes in 2018 and look forward to our 2019 campaigning with the objective of both additional councils setting 20mph limits and whole nations saying 20's Plenty by the year 2020 by setting a national 20mph default. Continue reading

Local Transport Today Letter

Flaws in the DfT’s 20mph limit evaluation Rod King Founder And Campaign Director 20’S Plenty For Us Lymm WA13 17 December 2018   20’s Plenty for Us welcomes the publication of the long-awaited DfT Evaluation of 20mph limits (‘No evidence that 20mph limits cut casualties, says DfT study’, LTT 23 Nov). It confirms the public support and acceptance of 20mph limits, but the report has failed to meet the original DfT study objectives.  Continue reading

Do you TomTom?

...or why unrepresentative data is not reliable. If you don't have a TomTom device in your vehicle then you may be surprised that if you live in one of the places recently researched by Atkins for the their Evaluation of 20mph limits then it doesn't matter how much you keep within the speed limit your considerate driving was completely ignored. And you wouldn't be alone. The report estimated that the actual number of drivers who were also ignored were in the 97% of vehicles who's speed they never measured. Atkins and DfT decided that in order to gather information on vehicle speeds in 20mph streets in 12 case study 20mph areas and compare them with 3 other 30mph areas then they would use data captured from high end TomTom SatNavs or vehicles with in-built TomTom in-car devices. This is termed Floating Car Data (FCD). You may therefore wonder just how accurate and representative their statistics and research were if it only included 3% of vehicles. We did as well, so we did some of our own research.   Continue reading

Faster is not Safer

You may have seen the reports in the Sun and Daily Mail today. Well “faster is safer” is a great message that some people would love to hear, but is groundless. We have already debunked each of the examples quoted in Bath & North East Somerset, Manchester and Hampshire. Other references shown bear no relation to most 20mph limits. Continue reading

20mph Community Speedwatch

20mph Community Speed Watch on Heslington Road York Recently, Anna Semlyen started acting as a volunteer in the local Community Speedwatch in York. Here is her experience of volunteering. Continue reading

A Poem for Campaigners

Our campaign manager, Anna Semlyen wrote a poem on campaigning that she put together for a  pub audience. Continue reading

Bilbao says its 30 times better at 30kmh

Its great to see Bilbao adopting a 30kmh (18.5mph) limit for most streets. The following is taken from the Red de Cuidades por la Bicicleta website and has been translated by Google Translate http://www.ciudadesporlabicicleta.org/2018/06/27/bilbao-velocidad-maxima-de-30km-h-en-todas-las-calles/   Continue reading

We critique Hampshire County Council's 20mph Review

On 5th June Hampshire County Council published a report reviewing its trial of 20mph limits. Whilst we believe that the trials were poorly implemented they still gathered support from communities and in our eyes were moderately successful. We were disappointed that rather than analysing what it could do better in providing future 20mph limits to communities the report chose to ignore its own failures in implementating best practice and instead recommend against future similar schemes. Here we critique the report in detail and call on Hampshire County Council to review its policy on 20mph limits. The following critique may be downloaded here Continue reading

Response to DfT Cycling and Walking Consultation

Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy safety review: call for evidence We have responded to this consultation which ends June 1st 2018. You can access the on-line page on the DfT website here Continue reading

20mph Seminar in Scottish Parliament

I was delighted to be asked to speak at the seminar held in the Scottish Parliament building to discuss the private members bill for changing the national default limit for restricted roads in Scotland to 20mph. Local Authorities would be able to make appropriate exceptions where a 30mph limit would be retained for certain roads. The text of my presentation follows :- Continue reading

A Critique of East Sussex Speed Limit Policy

We write an open email to Cllr Bennett, Lead Member for Transport and Environment for East Sussex County Council, regarding misrepresentation of DfT guidance in East Sussex briefings to members and the public. Open PDF Continue reading

Freddie Star Ate My 20mph Hamster in Bath

You may become aware of a headline in the papers today with variations of "Streets where more people died AFTER 20mph limit came in ...but councillors say it's too expensive to scrap it". These reports are bogus and just like the famous Freddie Starr headline are untrue.   Continue reading

The "Criminalising" and "bringing the law into disrepute" myths busted

Another question we have had put to us is :- “In moving from 30mph to 20mph without adequate physical changes and/or enforcement, we are criminalising a higher percentage of people and that brings the law into disrepute”.   Continue reading

Merry Christmas to everyone wanting safer and healthier streets

2017 has been a very successful year for our movement. We have made some great strides forward, not only in the UK but also with new friends and like-minded people throughout the world. Continue reading

The "civil liability" myth busted

Yesterday I heard from one of our local campaigns about an argument put by a councillor. It was :- "If I designate a street as 20mph, then more people will think it safe to walk and cycle.  I am worried that if someone is then killed or seriously injured by a car travelling at (say) 30mph, then the Traffic Authority might be liable".   Here we discuss the relevant civil case law regarding the duty of the council to act reasonably when managing the roads. The argument condenses down to clear opinion that :- If a Traffic Authority sets a speed limit which misrepresents the hazards involved, then it is in breach of its common law duty of care towards both the driver and to anyone injured. Regardless of whether the road user was negligent, the Traffic Authority risks liability for any consequences. Where a Traffic Authority has set a 20mph speed limit, then liability for any consequences of a collision rests solely with the driver if they negligently exceeded the speed limit and could have avoided the collision if they had adhered to the limit. The argument that Traffic Authorities risk liability if a 20mph limit is set and not adhered to by a driver has no credibility. Instead the reverse is true: The correct setting of a 20mph limit shifts liability to the driver when acting negligently by exceeding the speed limit regardless of any negligence by a vulnerable road user. The Duty of Care responsibilities of a Traffic Authority are further explored in a comprehensive briefing.   Continue reading

We critique a recent report on 20mph areas by Bath and North East Somerset Council

In May 2017 N & NES Council released a report on their recent 20mph area schemes. Whilst we believe that assessing the results of 20mph limits is important in order to better implement ongoing schemes and formulate local authority policy, this must be done in a reasonable, balanced and objective manner. 20’s Plenty for Us refute the findings and conclusions in the report and advise members that the report is so compromised that it would not be reasonable for them to make any decisions based on the report. This critique looks at the report in detail. In particular it finds the report biased, lacking in statistical rigour and not meeting several local authority duties on competency and equality. 20’s Plenty for Us would be pleased to engage with Bath & North East Council to further discuss the report and propose how a better review and assessment of the 20mph areas may be conducted. This critique should be read alongside the BANES report which may be found at :- https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/documents/s46582/20mph%20Zones%20Review%20Report.pdf See our latest update on this issue and all the December 2017 media articles in our update here Continue reading

Lessons to learn from Manchester

In a recent analysis of its 20mph roll-out Manchester City Council have decided to review it plans because pedestrian and cycle casualty reduction in the first Phase implemented in 2012 have not matched the %age reduction in all the roads across the city. They are continuing their roll-out of Phase 2 but may use some of the allocated funding for Phase 3 on alternative road treatments. Some of the media and 20mph opponents have used this as "proof" that 20mph limits "don't work" and are calling for other cities to "learn from Manchester" and change their 20mph plans. At 20's Plenty we take the view that all evidence is useful evidence but needs to be put into context to understand how relevant it is. In the case of the statistics quoted by Manchester there is considerable doubt as to whether they can tell us anything positive or negative, but may point to things which Manchester needs to do better in its 20mph roll out. We list the main flaws and what may be learnt from them. Continue reading

Wiltshire Council misinforms public on 20mph zones outside schools

People in Wiltshire could think that their council is being progressive by its plans to allow schools to request a 20mph zone outside their school. Whilst in its press release it says :- "We want to balance the needs of local people with the need to ensure children can travel to and from school safely, and I think this is a great way to do that" and in its web news release actually shows a picture of a mandatory 20mph zone (you can tell its mandatory because it uses a red circle) but what we have confirmed with them is that it is actually only offering is an advisory temporary  limit which any driver with knowledge of the highway code knows is not mandatory. In fact the actual speed limit on the road remains at 30mph. We call upon Wiltshire council to stop misinforming its parents and children about its intentions and what they can request. Continue reading

20mph and its role in London's Vision Zero Plans

London is developing its Vision Zero Plan to reduce casualties on London roads. Here is our view on how 20mph limits fit into those plans. Continue reading

A Call for Safety Camera Enforcement of 20mph limits

Blog -  by Anna Semlyen, 20’s Plenty for Us National Campaign Manager,  MSc Health Economics @AnnaSemlyen1 anna.s@20splenty.org Continue reading