So you want... to uphold values in sharing roads

Our moral compass and true direction is set by our values. An urban/village 20mph default limit aligns with what’s truly valuable – assisting the reduction of COVID-19 infection rates, lower emissions, fairness, social justice, protecting the vulnerable, health equality, child development and independence for the elderly and disabled. A national 20mph limit is a smart way to promote key, universally agreed aspirations for a better society long term, especially now road space is scarce.

20m people already live where local decision makers have rejected 30mph as being “one size that doesn’t fit most roads”.  A default 20mph with exceptions set at 30mph has been adopted to make their streets better places to live, work, shop and learn. They’ve found 20mph is popular because the policy is safer, greener and fairer. Especially for those with limited skills, sight, hearing, mobility or awareness whether due to age, disability, or being novice cyclists or visitors.

Globally, places are responding to the COVID-19 crisis with 20mph and lower speeds – from Westminster to Wandsworth, Washington DC to Minneapolis, Milan, Brussels, Paris and many more.  Those travelling will increasingly need to walk and cycle if public transport use is less popular due to infection fears. Sustainable travel can avoid the gridlock anticipated if people were to shift to greater private car usage.  

  • UK Doctors also recently started a “lower the baseline load”[1] campaign to set an emergency 20mph urban default speed limit to reduce the road casualty load on the NHS during the COVID-19 Crisis.
  • UK recently signed the Stockholm Declaration[2] with 130 nations resolving to set a default 20mph limit wherever cyclists and pedestrians mix with motors.
  • UK transport planners have been told to focus on promoting walking and cycling and providing safety. Pop up infrastructure is being funded. Yet the corridors cannot provide door to door safety or allow new cyclists to reach these facilities without travelling on local 30mph roads near their home/work. Junctions are still unprotected spaces posing challenges.

20mph limits make little difference to journey times which evidence shows are primarily determined by congestion and time stopped. 20mph is foundational to caring for people’s wellbeing whether we want fewer casualties, better breathing, less infection, more equality for the disadvantaged, to be family or dementia friendly, fulfil climate change goals, less noise or less road wear and tear. You can email your MP via our form at

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

“Politicians are elected to make decisions for the area that they are responsible. National limits are set where common standards exist across the whole country, especially where public health is concerned (eg smoking in public places). It is illogical for the UK’s national guidance to advise 20mph limits for residential roads and high streets yet keep a national 30mph built-up limit. 20mph supports the true moral compass towards a better society for all in terms of how we go forward in sharing the precious resource of space on built up roads.

An emergency 20mph limit cost is minimal, can be applied at population level on all streets in built up areas in a very short timescale. Exceptions can be decided locally. It is already the expectation in urban environments. Now is the time to make this important change to our urban and village landscape.”

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