Rather than being an added imposition, bus operators should see 20mph limits as benefiting their customers and resulting in lower operating costs .
1 Bus passengers benefit. Every bus journey starts and ends with a pedestrian journey. 20mph speed limits make it safer, easier and more pleasant for bus users, particularly older people and those who are less mobile, to get to the bus stop.
2 Little effect on bus journey times. Most buses spend very little time travelling at more than 20mph, particularly in residential areas. Even on main bus routes a recent study found that less than 25% of the time was spent above 30km/h (18.5mph). At peak times this proportion is even less.1
3 Easier for buses to re-join traffic. Lower traffic speeds mean it is easier for buses to pull out into traffic after stopping.
4 More comfortable riding. Bus passengers can often find speeds above 20mph uncomfortable whilst on the bus, especially in tight residential roads or town centres.
5 Less acceleration – less fuel. The energy used to take a bus from 0 to 30mph is more than double that required to get up to 20mph. 20mph limits also encourage smoother driving with less acceleration and braking helping to reduce fuel consumption which is a large and ever increasing cost for bus companies.
6 Closer journey times to motor cars. 20mph speed limits affect higher speed vehicles proportionately more than lower speed vehicles. Hence 20mph limits cut any difference between bus and car journey times, making buses increasingly competitive time-wise.
7 Lower crash costs. When motor vehicles are travelling slower then everyone has more time to avoid collisions. Bus operators benefit from fewer crash repairs, less time with vehicles off road and lower insurance costs when operating in Total 20 towns.
8 Less fear from buses. Buses can be seen as a real risk to pedestrians if travelling fast within a residential area or town centre. Responsible driving will ensure the safety of existing bus users and the wider community, encouraging buses to be seen as an asset and perhaps increasing custom.
9 Less stressful for drivers. There can be no doubt that driving a large bus on our roads is a heavy responsibility. Slowing down traffic can create a far less stressful environment for drivers leading to better job satisfaction and better health.
10 Society benefits. Bus operators can play their role in making their communities better places to live by supporting and complying with 20mph speed limits.