Calderdale’s Transport and Public Health Initiative for 20mph Streets Saw 30% Fewer Casualties

51 fewer people suffered road trauma after Calderdale’s highly successful wide area 20mph limit project was implemented. A popular and well-coordinated wide area 20mph limit implementation will have prevented 30-40% of casualties over three years.  20’s Plenty congratulate this triumph of safer community streets.

Calderdale’s Director of Public Health, Paul Butcher presented 20mph data in a report to the council’s Place Scrutiny Committee on 26 April[1].  Key findings were

  • 30% casualty reduction over a 3 year period and later schemes indicate a 40% reduction.  This equates to 154 fewer injuries - 51 from the 3 years data available (a statistically significant reduction). Plus 103 from the projected 3 years data for the later schemes.
  • Cost effective intervention – total investment of £821k from a West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan and Department of Health ring fenced grant. Given the reduction in injuries a public saving in the region of £3M  - based on the Department for Transport’s road traffic casualties slight injuries value of prevention of £23.5k per person.  This is a rate of return of £3.65 for every £1 spent (with future benefits for a minimal ongoing cost).
  • Cost was £1.6k per km of road
  • 1.9mph mean reduction in speed taken from 3.5 million+ readings with variations in some areas.
  • Continuing public support for 20mph (over 80%) from attitudinal surveys in Todmorden and Sowerby Bridge.
  • Police engagement and enforcement continues via Operation Hawmill which has fined 20mph offenders. 12 vehicle activated speeding signs are in use.


Calderdale’s Transport and Public Health team are to be congratulated on highly effective efforts in designing their scheme. In particular: in promoting slower speeds through a targeted investment in ‘hearts and minds’ driver education and social marketing of 20mph’s many benefits. Specialist public health staff were employed to run the scheme, who intelligently conceived and applied a plan of ‘Love our Streets’ branded initiatives of people friendly, healthy streets. These included press releases, stalls and a bespoke website, positive street photo images, a 20mph phone app with educational materials e.g. self quizzes, competitions, Facebook, discounted dashboard cameras, videos and much more. All that, and enforcement by the police, appears to have had a very positive effect on compliance and brought high levels of popular support.


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

“Calderdale’s Public Health and multi-agency support makes a real difference to implementing 20mph. When we go beyond traffic management and seek to empower people to change their driving behaviour for the good of the community then everyone wins especially those unnamed people who do not end up as casualties on our roads. This success is being reflected in other places such as Bristol[2] where 4 fewer fatalities per year are estimated from 20mph limits. It’s clear that the UK’s national 30mph limit with 100,000+ casualties per annum is no longer fit for purpose.  It’s time to set a national 20mph limit for urban/village roads and let local authorities decide the exceptions.”

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