Action a Public Health & Road Safety Plan with 20mph

Road casualties, especially of vulnerable people, are rising[1]. 20’s Plenty for Us say we must change our attitudes to sharing the public spaces we call roads. 20mph is a popular tool for more fairness with safety and quality of life benefits.  20’s Plenty ask authorities to state their vision for public health and transport and to action default 20mph limits.

Benjamin Franklin said ‘If you fail to plan you are planning to fail’.  Transport mode choices and health outcomes are closely linked.  Does your authority have a public health and transport or road safety strategy with targets?  If not, why not?  England is currently without a road safety target.   20’s Plenty for Us ask that a plan for Government and every Local Authority must be written to address transport and health issues with these sections:


More deaths, serious and slight injuries on GB roads.  Pedestrian deaths, especially of older people, rose significantly as did serious cycling injuries.  Pedestrian deaths at over 25% of fatalities. 96% of all deaths on roads with limits above 20mph.  Drivers are not sharing roads safely enough with walkers and cyclists to protect them or stimulate physical activity.

Aim, Target

What do we want?  Vision Zero says no deaths or serious injuries is the humane target.


E.g. default 20mph limits, driver engagement on 20mph benefits, speed watch, enforcement


Evaluation of what works and adjusting ongoing actions to cost-effectively fulfil the aim


Recent road casualty figures make sad reading. Yet from international best practice we know that their huge costs are largely preventable. The UK can adopt stronger speed management policies including a default urban 20mph, raise driver compliance and commit to ambitious targets for reducing road violence.

'Vision Zero[1]' (no road deaths/serious injuries) - is the standard for health and safety at work and is a highways target that is increasingly adopted - eg for Northern Ireland, Edinburgh and many US cities like New York and San Francisco.

It is particularly concerning that injuries in 30mph roads are up when 30mph road lengths have fallen. We know

  • 20mph limits are safer than 30mph, particularly for vulnerable road users and help raise physical activity levels.
  • 20mph limited road lengths are rising and 30mph road lengths falling (though mileage data isn’t collected)
  • Every authority doing a pilot of 20mph limits has monitored results and decided to implement 20mph widely.
  • 20mph fits with a humane aim for road danger reduction as part of a rigorous, evidence-based, full systems safety approach – i.e. designing roads and policies to reduce danger with slower limits, strong community engagement, driver education and enforcement.

20's Plenty for Us call on authorities to state their aims/objectives and vision for health on the roads, implement wide 20mph limits in built up areas and for the Government to plan a transition to Total 20 by 2020.

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

“Many Local authorities are taking up the challenge to create better places for residents to live, work, shop and learn. They find that the vast majority of people want to share their streets in a better way and that people are quite prepared to be the change to make this happen. 20mph limits are the foundation for so many safety oriented and active travel policies. The vision that every road death and serious casualty can be avoided is a laudable and practical aim which is at the core of making roads fit for people! A “How we can” approach to planning and initiatives is capable of turning that vision into real community benefits. We applaud those communities with a Vision Zero aspiration.”

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