Global Consensus That 20mph Is Best Practice

Global health, safety and economic forums say 20’s Plenty (20mph/30kmh) is best practice including WHO, the EU, iRAP, Global Network for Road Safety Legislators and the OECD.

The EU Transport and Tourism Committee “strongly recommends 30kmh limits unless there are segregated cycling and pedestrian facilities.”

iRAP, the International Road Assessment Programme says that “urban roads without segregated cycle and pedestrian facilities will not get a 5 star rating unless the limit is 30kmh.

The Global Network for Road Safety Legislators says “there is strong evidence that wherever motorised traffic mixes with vulnerable road users the speed limit should be set at or under 30kmh”.

The International Transport Forum of the OECD in a recent report on “Speed and Crash Risk” is categorical that “Where motorised vehicles and vulnerable road users share the same space, such as in residential areas, 30 kmh is the recommended maximum.

The World Health Organisation host the UN Global Road Safety week every two years and is a key influencer in road safety globally. In 2017 it focussed on speed and in recognition that 30kmh is best practice where pedestrians and cyclists mix WHO asked 20’s Plenty for Us to work on their behalf to create Slow Down Day toolkit that was used in 1,000+ slow down campaigning days globally advocating 30kmh limits. It says “A safe speed on roads with possible conflicts between cars and pedestrians, cyclists or other vulnerable road users is 30 km/h (see Table 2).”[1]

20mph is Global Best Practice. Countries and communities are setting 20mph/30kmh limits for urban and village roads. In Netherlands 70% of urban roads have a 30kmh or lower limit. In Scandinavian countries 30kmh is the norm in villages and towns. Throughout Europe 30kmh is increasingly being set across complete authorities with exceptions on arterial roads with segregated facilities eg Milan, Paris and Barcelona.

And whilst the UK has been a late starter, in the last 10 years over 25% of the population have gained a 20mph limit on the streets where they live, learn, shop or work. Most of our iconic cities have a 20mph limit for most roads. 43% of Londoners live on 20mph roads and 75% of people in Inner London Boroughs. Even complete counties such as Lancashire, Sefton, Calderdale, Clackmannanshire and Fife have adopted wide-area 20mph limits for all.

Casualty benefits show impressive reductions of 20+%[2]

Rod King MBE, Founder and Campaign Director for 20’s Plenty for Us commented :-

“Respected global research organisations have reached a consensus that 20’s Plenty for built up areas.  Speed limits are the single most powerful feature determining how fast road users travel.  Therefore, limits play a pivotal role in determining overall crash and injury risk.  Crashes and injury severity decline whenever speed limits have been reduced. In Scotland, legislators are writing a bill to limit speeds to 20mph on unrestricted roads. We know this will protect people and visitors from avoidable risks when on their urban and village streets. Those elected with power everywhere must vote for 20mph limits for public health protection and more liveable places.”


[1]WHO – Managing Speed Page 8


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