Setting 20mph/30kmh limits fits with global goals for health, sustainability and the climate. Though at first glance speeds seem to be about roads, actually they are about people and the world we want to live in. Broad and lasting benefits accrue to people and planet from normalising 20mph/30kmh. Climate, safety, active travel, place-making, the economy and quality of life are all helped. Lower speed limits have wins now and for future generations.
20mph/30kmh is accepted as best practice by the UN and WHO and endorsed by 130 nations. It is inevitably coming to streets near you. How soon and how cost effectively are the issues. Why? 70% of people want to live in lower speed places which are safer, quieter, less stressful and cleaner. Changing laws to normalise 20mph/30kmh revolutionises street environments into better places to live, work, shop and learn.
Politicians are elected to represent the best interests of the people and enact policies to raise quality of life. In a world with multiple pressing issues, real changes are needed on a wide-scale that are effective, affordable and popular. Fortunately, the benefit list of 20mph/30kmh is long.
- Climate – less fuel is used, confidence rises in active travel and reduces oil dependence. All eyes will be on the COP26 conference in Glasgow in November and on practical, achievable policies.
- COVID recovery – reduces health service use; walking and cycling can be socially distanced, air quality improves, obesity reduces.
- Health – 20% fewer casualties, more active lifestyles, less obesity, stress, heart disease, health service baseline load lowered. Resources freed up for patients and to clear COVID backlogs.
- Economy – raised health = more productive workforce, higher footfall and profitability on high streets, less wasted resources on crashes.
- Place Making / Tourism - quieter, safer, less polluted streets are better places to be.
- Independent Mobility – duty of care, safer shared streets (even without wide pavements or protected cycle lanes) that work for the young, old or disabled. Fewer jams from traffic reduction due to modal shift to walking / cycling / scooting.
- New Mobility – increases in e-bikes, e-cars, e-scooters are coming. Slower maximum speeds from motors facilitates these changes more safely.
To ask for a national 20mph limit in the UK email your MP via https://www.20splenty.org/ungrsw-ukmp
or use the UN Global letter elsewhere at https://www.unroadsafetyweek.org/en/get-involved#sign
Register for our webinar on setting 20mph or 30km/h limits at national level via www.20splenty.org/webinar
Rod King MBE, Founder and Campaign Director for 20’s Plenty for Us commented
"Normalising 20mph/30kmh means fewer casualties, is cost-effective and overwhelmingly popular.
Global goals are supported by backing 20mph/30kmh as the urban norm by changing laws. In a world grappling with huge issues like climate change and Covid-19 recovery, speed reductions are affordable, effective ways to make a better word now and for the future.”
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