Bristol’s 20mph Limits: Massive Success Confirmed by Review

Bristol’s review on the future of its 20mph limits shows huge public approval and cost savings, confirming its massive success.  20mph works.  

Bristol’s post implementation 20mph review[1] based on surveys last summer had one of the largest ever local responses- 3,391 - most in strong support. 95% of respondents want 20mph near schools. Note near, not just in front of - children need safe routes to school. 74% supported 20mph on residential and 44% on main roads.


Bristol implemented wide area 20mph limit signage from 2012 -2015.  Extensive evidence of its effectiveness at safety and raising walking and cycling was published by UWE researchers in the BRITE study in 2018[2],[3].

  • BRITE found 94% of surveyed roads had slowed, 2.7mph reductions in average speed and estimated casualties avoided per year of 4.53 fatalities, 11.3 serious injuries and 159.3 slight injuries.
  • These sum to estimated cost savings of over £15 million per year - annual savings over 5 times greater than the one-off roll out cost of £2.77m mostly funded by central Government.
  • Over a ten year period 20mph in Bristol is forecast to save 45 lives, 113 serious injuries, 1,593 minor injuries, and save over £147m net - a fantastic return on a public health investment!
  • The review decided on "no major changes". Eight roads will receive additional compliance measures.

The local NHS loves 20mph due to reduced trauma admissions, increased active travel, better air quality, community social benefits, health equality and less noise.  Bristol Health Partners website has over 20 articles promoting 20mph[4]. Bus operators First Group replied that they had “no issues reported to us regarding the speed limits” and favoured “leaving the current limits in situ.


Rod King MBE of 20’s Plenty for Us commented :-

Bristol’s review clearly states public and stakeholder thankfulness that 20mph is the normal limit. Whilst the policy was already proven cost effective, the review confirms 20mph as popular and people friendly. Only a few changes to increase compliance were warranted. As Bristol’s strap line says - its a little bit slower and a whole lot better.”


“20’s Plenty congratulates Bristol on its success, especially on collecting evidence for other places, like Wales, which has agreed 20mph default, to follow. We hope Bristol’s experience will inform the vote in Scotland this June.”


See more 20mph facts on the Bristol site.[5] 







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