20mph limits are positive vote winners

Opinion surveys across the UK consistently show strong support for 20 mph limits without humps.  This popular policy wins votes. 20 mph limits make real, quantifiable differences to people’s quality of life.  Wide area 20 mph limits are fair and justified as popular and affordable.

Evidence of 20 mph limit support comes from many sources - opinion surveys, Local Authority Consultation responses and other media eg web based polls.  Plus the winning manifestos of local political parties.  Research conclusively shows that British people want slower speeds for their residential roads.

The British Social Attitudes Survey run for the Department of Transport found “the majority (71 per cent) of respondents were in favour or strongly in favour of speed limits of 20 mph in residential streets”. Only 15% were against[i].


The University of the West of England’s reviewers found “there are substantial majorities disapproving of breaking the speed limit, supporting reductions in speed limits including local limits of 20mph”. On residential streets, 76% of people are in favour of having speed limits of 20mph[ii].

In York, more people wanted speed reduction (721/1200) than any other transport measure in the Local Transport Plan survey.  It became an election issue in May 2011 and the electorate chose the supporting party. 76% of respondents wanted 20 mph limits when consulted in South Edinburgh.  Of 820 replies, more than three quarters either strongly supported (56%) or supported (20%) the pilot scheme.[iii]

69 % backed 20 mph residential limits in Oxford City’s consultation[iv], and were implemented in 2009.

Islington council consulted with local residents in 2009, sending out more than 46,000 consultation documents borough-wide. Replies came from nearly one in four households.  61% favoured the 20mph limit and Islington adopted the policy, the first London Borough to do so[v].

Bristol City Council’s Spring 2011 citizen’s panel survey found  that 52% would like to see the speed limit in their street reduced whilst 23% had no opinion and 15 % disagreed. 85% of those who would like to see speed limits reduced would like their street to become a 20mph speed limit area[vi].


People want 20 mph limits. It is up to local politicians to listen and respond by agreeing to implement 20 mph speeds where people live. Authorities of nearly 7 million people in the UK already agree. Does yours?

[i] 2010 British Social Attitudes Survey – Attitudes to transport http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/UsefulReports/BSocialAttitudes2010.pdf 3,297 sample size

[ii] University of the West of England. Public Attitudes to Transport: Knowledge review of existing evidence. Report to the DfT June 2008. Lyons et al.


[iii] http://www.edinburghoutlook.co.uk/2011-01/transport/3233.aspx

[iv] http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/4302571.20mph_scheme_likely_to_be_driven_through/

[v] http://road.cc/content/news/11819-islington-introduce-20mph-borough-wide-speed-limit

[vi] Bristol Spring 2011 Citizen’s Panel Questionnaire. Results based on 1066 respondents (51% response)

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