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.
We are delighted that we now have 34 new campaigns added in the year which takes our total to over 400. Welcome to :-
|Community Campaign||Local Authority|
|Peterston-super-Ely||Vale of Glamorgan|
|Pool||Leeds City Council|
|Longnor||Shropshire County Council|
|Battle||East Sussex County Council|
|Ulverston||Cumbria County Council|
|Sully||Vale of Glamorgan|
|Isle of Man||Isle of Man|
|Chipping Norton||Oxfordshire County Council|
|St Breward||Cornwall County Council|
|Ashburton||Devon County Council|
|Devon||Devon County Council|
|Bredgar||Kent County Council|
|Burwash||East Sussex County Council|
|Hadlow||Kent County Council|
|Braunton||North Devon County Council|
|Ashtead||Surrey County Council|
|Bidborough||Kent County Council|
|Dartford||Kent County Council|
|Medomsley||Durham County Council|
|Yarra||Yarra City Council, Melbourne, Australia|
|Vale of Glamorgan||Vale of Glamorgan|
|Frankwell||Shropshire County Council|
In particular we have our first campaign in Australasia in Yarra, Melbourne where a 30kmh limit is being piloted.
We also continued to add and support campaigns at county level in a number of places. This now includes Kent, Vale of Glamorgan, Shropshire, Renfrewshire, Devon, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire, North Yorkshire, Derbyshire, North Staffordshire, East Lothian, Anglesey and Calderdale. We now also have an Isle of Man campaign.
And its these thousands of voluntary campaigners which are really making a difference in 20mph now starting to become the norm for residential streets and places where vulnerable road users mix with motor vehicles.
Our 2018 Campaigners of the Year were Adrian Berendt in Kent and Brendan Sadka in Vale of Glamorgan.
New 20mph areas and roll-outs
These have been progressing both as councils committing to rolling out 20mph limits to all parts and as subsequent phases of implementation. Leeds had been gradually implementing 20mph limits but in April decided to fast-track its remaining roads comprising of 90 additional areas before Summer 2019.
London continued to adopt 20mph limits and focused on 20mph as a key part of its Vision Zero Action Plan. In this Transport for London also called on the government to set a national 20mph limit. This was later echoed by Edinburgh, Cardiff and Birmingham city councils. Transport for London are also implementing 20mph limits on all arterial roads within the congestion charging zone and many others.
More London Boroughs adopted wide-area 20mph limits including Croydon; others are looking at wide-area limits in the next couple of years.
Cardiff announced a further expansion of its 20mph limits progressively covering the whole city.
There were many other minor implementations and commitments such as Otley. Other authorities that had already implemented wide area 20mph limits announced casualty saving including Bristol and Calderdale.
The full list of 20mph authorities can be seen. They represent a population of 17m or 25% of the UK.
After a successful year working with the World Health Organisation in 2017 more cities are adopting wide-are 30kmh limits in 2018. These included Bilbao, Grenoble, Paris, as well as many city centres. In USA Portland became the first authority to adopt a general 20mph limit whilst Yarra in Melbourne is piloting a 30kmh limit with much interest from other Australian and New Zealand authorities. We were involved with Yarra City Council in advising them on implementation and were pleased when their project lead visited us in October and spoke at our annual conference.
Global NGOs also came out in favour of 20mph/30kmh limits in 2018. Besides the support from WHO and iRAP in 2017 now the OECD and Global Network of Road Safety Legislators both called for 20mph limits where pedestrians and cyclists mix with motor vehicles.
Anna, and myself, with help from Jeremy created a number of briefings for campaigners in 2018. These included scrutiny templates, county-wide campaigns, 20mph consultations, London Borough guidance, casualty reductions, global consensus, local authority enforcement, our response to the DfT 20mph Evaluation report and how to talk about speeding.
National campaigns and conference
Implementations to date have been authority by authority. Whilst this has enabled many of the more progressive authorities to implement 20mph limits some councils have had less empathy with the clear support for 20mph that exists in communities. This produces a postcode lottery of speed limits and lack of consistency. We have long argued for a 20mph to be set as the national default for urban and village roads with 30mph limits being chosen as exceptions by the local authority based on how they were used.
This developed in 2018 as Scotland progressed its' "Restricted Roads (20mph speed limit) (Scotland) Bill and Wales received the authority to set its own national speed limits. We have been very involved with the Scottish Bill and also have been meeting with Welsh government officers and politicians regarding a similar national default. There has been wide support with both Public Health Scotland and Public Health Wales calling for a national 20mph limit.
The Scottish Bill has been through its initial stages and is now being reviewed by the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee. They are wanting your views so please respond at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/20mphBill/ If you live in a 20mph limit yourself then why not give them the benefit of your experience. But please do so before 28th January 2019.
In Wales we responded to the interest from Welsh communities by holding our 9th Annual Conference in Cardiff. This was very well attended and a huge success. We also recorded a number of voxpops from speakers and attendees.
But, whilst progress is being made in Scotland and Wales, the UK (or rather English) government is falling behind. For the last 4 years it has been kicking the 20mph can down the road whilst conducting a national review of 20mph limits which has proved to be far from comprehensive or particularly thorough. It cost £1m in consultancy fees and fails on two important aspects :-
- It used data collected from TomTom devices in a minority of vehicles and hence is unrepresentative of actual speed reductions.
- It chose case study areas which were so small that any changes in casualties had no statistical significance.
See our letter to Local Transport Today which calls out the flaws in the evaluation. Also see our comments in :-
Do You TomTom? - An anlalysis as to why TomTom data is far from useful.
DfT Evaluation - Liveable Streets Road Block or Foundation for a National 20mph Limit
How the DfT Report Enables Local Authorities to Implement 20mph Limits
My thanks go to all our campaigners as well as Anna and Jeremy for their support in 2018. We have achieved a great deal.
Our Plans for 2019
Our work for 2019 will be in three key areas :-
- We will support our local campaigns in making the case for wide-area 20mph limits. We will do this with practical help and assistance.
- We will work on the national campaigns in Wales and Scotland, whilst pointing out the benefits to the DfT and Westminster government.
- We will work internationally with the global Love 30 /20's Plenty movement and support the Vision Zero strategies around the UK and globally to help deliver reductions in vehicle speeds; this is a key component of reducing casualties on our roads.
We look forward to working with all our campaigners, NGOs, councils, officers, councillors and politicians in 2019.
Happy New Year to you all from Anna, Jeremy and Myself.
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