The 25mph Conundrum

Many people ask what to do if the average speed on a road is 25mph or above. Can you set a 20mph limit? Lets consider what I call "The 25mph Conundrum". Setting speed limits based on what drivers think is the right speed is a flawed approach. This is considered in a recent report from NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials). It concludes that "Relying on a percentile-based system focused on current driver behavior, rather than a defined safety target to set speed limits, significantly limits cities’ ability to reduce traffic deaths.   So lets go through the logic of solving this conundrum for UK situations.   Continue reading

Why not "self-explaining" roads?

I have been having a discussion on LinkedIn with some engineers on the choice of building "self-explaining" roads rather than wide-area speed limits after posting this infographic.  My response was rather too long for the usual character limit on LinkedIn, hence it initiated this blog. Continue reading

What is intelligent speed assistance?

Intelligent Speed Assistance - What it is and how it will affect compliance on speed limits A briefing by Rod King for the Welsh Government 20mph Task and Finish Group - 30th December 2019 Continue reading

Our response to Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 2030 Consultation

The Scottish Government has published its Road Safety Framework to 2030 Draft for consultation. We applaud the vision within this that "Our vision is for Scotland to have the best road safety performance in the world by 2030."  Scotland's road fatalities per million population stands at 30 this is considerably greater than leaders such as Iceland at 17 and Sweden at 22. Whilst such a radical vision is laudable we are concerned that the plans are not radical enough to catch up and overtake other countries in terms of road safety. Our response to the consultation points out that much more must be done if Scotland's performance is to match its' aspirations. It makes particular reference to speed management.  Continue reading

No Need to Speed - Our blog for BRAKE's Road Safety Week

For BRAKE’s 2020 Road Safety Week I was asked to write a blog on the theme of the week. If 20’s Plenty to protect your MPs where they work in Westminster then why not for you, your children and parents in your community? Continue reading

Article for Road Safety Markings Association Magazine

We were asked to write an article for the annual Road Safety Markings Association's annual magazine. 20’s Plenty – for the 2020’s A few year’s ago I had the pleasure of speaking at the RSMA annual conference and noticed the strong commitment to making our streets safer. In that I explained how the movement for slower speed limits on community streets was evolving. The 20’s Plenty (or Love 30 as it is known in km/h countries) was making great progress this year even before the Covid-19 pandemic and the realisation that we all needed more space and safety to move around our cities, towns and villages. Continue reading

Communications with the government on default 20

Since launching our campaign on April 9th in support of doctors calling for an emergency default 20mph urban speed limit we have had a number of communications with MPs. ministers and DfT officials. This provides a useful insight into the thinking of the government and its attitude to speed limits. The emails and letters are provided along with our responses.   Continue reading


Some of you may have seen the weekend papers which ran stories on this report from Queen's University Belfast. In fact the report in the Queen' s University website had exactly the headline shown above. It was a report that reviewed available previous research on 20mph zones and limits. It reviewed 9 20mph "Zone" reports and 2 20mph "limit" reports. Its conclusion was :- "This review suggests 20 mph ‘zones’ are effective in reducing collisions and casualties. However, it provides insufficient evidence to draw conclusions on the effect of 20 mph ‘zones’ on pollution, inequalities or liveability. For 20 mph ‘limits’ more rigorous evaluations are required in order to draw robust conclusions." Basically it was saying that the 2 reports used on 20mph were not thorough enough to draw "robust" conclusions. One of these reports was the Atkins report which we have also criticised for not being thorough enough to be meaningful. Much of our criticism of Atkins can be seen in a previous blog where we call-out the questions which still need to be answered.   Continue reading

A letter from a campaigner to a councillor

This is the email sent by our campaigner Rita Antonelli in Ashtead, Surrey to a local councillor. We think it shows an excellent example of the work done by our campaigners across the country.Thanks to Rita for allowing us to use her email. Continue reading

Transport in the 2020s

Change is palpable on our streets.  Trends show a huge rise in electrically assisted transport like e-bikes. Politicians valuing health are increasingly valuing the role of walkers, e- and folding bikes and scooter riders in accessing towns sustainably. Providing primarily for private cars isn’t smart – they’re jammed up, dangerous, dirty, climate damaging and an inefficient use of city space to drive or park.  The safe movement of people matters more than solo driver convenience.  Continue reading

Global News - Aug 2019

Global News of 20mph and 30km/h Speed Limit Progress 2019 – Blog post by Anna Semlyen, 20’s Plenty for Us National Campaign Manager Aug 2019 Continue reading

There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children

I was asked to write a blog for BRAKE's 2019 Road Safety Week. I started with what I think is an inspiring and very relevant quote from Nelson Mandela :- "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." And that must be the question we ask of politicians. Who do they treat better: The child who wants to walk or cycle to their school or the adult who wants to drive to work? Continue reading

Bradford City Centre 20mph limits go live

Today we were asked by Bradford Council to a provide a supporting statement to their press release. This is what we suggested :- “20mph limits are the global standard where pedestrians and cyclists mix with motor vehicles. This is supported by the World Health Organisation, OECD, and many global and national NGOs. In many countries, 30km/h (18.5mph) limits are standard across cities, towns and villages. Already 21m people in the UK live in authorities that have already set or are setting 20mph for most residential and city centre streets. 20mph becomes the norm rather than the exception. This delivers across a wide range of city aspirations including reducing road danger, enabling active mobility, child mobility , elderly mobility and reducing emissions and car-dependency. It is good to see Bradford Council adopting 20mph limits, and we would urge it to go further and deliver a 20mph street environment as the norm for all its residential roads across the whole district.”    

Beware Irrelevant DfT Data on Speeding in 20mph Limits.

Blog by Anna Semlyen 20’s Plenty for Us National Campaign Manager June 2019 At the end of June, the Department for Transport (DfT) report some irrelevant statistics on speeding[1]. Note firstly that the 10 sites of 20mph roads are unrepresentative free-flow locations with no traffic calming or other speed restricting features which tend to be through-roads.  Yet most 20mph limits are side roads.   [1] Continue reading

NOISE AND SPEED - A guest Blog from UK Noise Association

Reducing speed limits is the quickest, cheapest and most equitable way of cutting traffic noise. Slower is quieter.   Lower speeds also allow the noise benefits of electric cars to be spread more widely and are foundational for traffic reduction. Continue reading

Email to Members of Scottish Parliament

The Safer Streets Bill reaches its Stage 1 debate in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 13th June. This evening I sent the following email to the Members of the Scottish Parliament. Continue reading

20mph Limit News Update: June 2019

There’s news from Wales, Scotland and Bristol, updates on speed limiters and climate emergency. Also save the date for our 31st October conference.   Continue reading

Letter in Local Transport Today

Unanswered questions about the DfT’s 20mph study Rod King Founder And Campaign Director 20’S Plenty For Us Lymm WA13 10 May 2019 The debate about 20mph limits seems to be rumbling on in your pages but consultant Atkins and the DfT still haven’t answered the questions posed in my LTT letter of 1 March regarding the use of comparator areas for casualty reductions. It may be useful to recap on the key issues that remain unclear: the report only looked at eight small case studies of residential roads in its casualty analysis, plus part of Brighton. The size of these areas varied considerably and whilst Winchester (Stanmore) had only four collisions per annum and Walsall (Rushall) just one collision on average for the five years beforehand, the Brighton (phase two) case study had 92 collisions per annum. In fact, on average Brighton comprised 46 per cent of the total dataset of collisions. Hence, when the results were indexed and aggregated, the outcome was overly influenced by the Brighton figures. This should have sounded a warning bell to the authors that this was not a robust set of data to be used in such an evaluation. Continue reading

The Climate Emergency – 20mph Reduces Emissions, helps traffic reduction and reduces oil dependency.

By Anna Semlyen, Cutting Your Car Use author, National Campaign Manager of 20’s Plenty for Us Climate activists are ramping up direct action because scientists say we are running out of time for politicians to act before the 1.5-2 degree warming that is irreversible.  Top personal ways to decarbonise and prevent climate chaos are to stop eating meat and to stop flying.  20mph limits enter the climate debate as crucial to reduce fossil fuel use for transport in towns and villages. Politicians must act to make it more possible for citizens to ‘do their bit’ to get about the places they live in greener ways. Continue reading

Report from PACTS meeting calling for 20mph policy

Professor John Whitelegg gave a presentation at the PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Transport Safety) on the need  for PACTS to update its policy to universally adopt the policy of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) on urban and village streets with regard to adopting 30km/h or 20mph limits. His report follows :- Continue reading

Lower speed limits save 5x more road casualties than targeted interventions

A guest blog from Adrian Berendt of 20's Plenty for Kent and Campaigner of the year - 2018 Introduction Road safety professionals often prefer targeting road safety improvements on particularly dangerous roads and junctions? Others consider it better to make more general interventions with a wider impact, known as the ‘prevention paradox’, e.g. health impact of immunisation. We assess which approach is better by comparing two alternative approaches[1]. 1) Targeted interventions on rural A roads. We use the example of the £100m fund for specific interventions as proposed by the UK government; and 2) Prevention Paradox – lowering overall speeds by a few miles per hour with wide area 20mph on urban non-A roads. Our analysis shows that spending the same money on Alternative 2, the “Prevention Paradox” saves 5 times the number of KSIs as targeted rural A road interventions.   [1] We eliminated three other road types as potential candidates: Motorways: few casualties and atypical of the UK road network; Rural non-A roads: extensive, carry little traffic and have few casualties; and Urban A roads: mixed characteristics of each of the road types chosen; might need a combination measures. Continue reading

Scottish 20mph Bill - Consultation Response

We have just submitted our response to the Rural and Economic Connectivity Committee of the Scottish Parliament consultation regarding the "Restricted Roads (20mph speed limit) (Scotland) Bill". This bill will set a national 20mph limit (instead of 30mph) for most restricted roads with the ability of local traffic authorities to make exceptions which will retain a 30mph limit. It provides for national consistency and local flexibility. "We applaud the Scottish Government in progressing this bill to its current stage. It provides a huge opportunity to align Scotland to what is becoming best practice across the world and especially in more socially aware countries. It aligns Scotland with such countries as Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Austria, Germany and Japan where 30kmh is the accepted norm in communities whether urban or rural. It will move Scotland away from the English model of inconsistent local setting of speed limits on built-up roads based on council priorities, values and empathy with communities. It will instead provide for a common national value of how roads are shared and do what national governments do best by setting those standards, facilitating implementation yet still allowing the flexibility for exceptions to be determined locally." Our full response follows.  Open PDF Continue reading

2018 Review and plans for 2019

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. Continue reading

Local Transport Today Letter

Flaws in the DfT’s 20mph limit evaluation Rod King Founder And Campaign Director 20’S Plenty For Us Lymm WA13 17 December 2018   20’s Plenty for Us welcomes the publication of the long-awaited DfT Evaluation of 20mph limits (‘No evidence that 20mph limits cut casualties, says DfT study’, LTT 23 Nov). It confirms the public support and acceptance of 20mph limits, but the report has failed to meet the original DfT study objectives.  Continue reading

Do you TomTom?

...or why unrepresentative data is not reliable. If you don't have a TomTom device in your vehicle then you may be surprised that if you live in one of the places recently researched by Atkins for the their Evaluation of 20mph limits then it doesn't matter how much you keep within the speed limit your considerate driving was completely ignored. And you wouldn't be alone. The report estimated that the actual number of drivers who were also ignored were in the 97% of vehicles who's speed they never measured. Atkins and DfT decided that in order to gather information on vehicle speeds in 20mph streets in 12 case study 20mph areas and compare them with 3 other 30mph areas then they would use data captured from high end TomTom SatNavs or vehicles with in-built TomTom in-car devices. This is termed Floating Car Data (FCD). You may therefore wonder just how accurate and representative their statistics and research were if it only included 3% of vehicles. We did as well, so we did some of our own research.   Continue reading