How Scrutiny Panels endorse 20mph limits

An extensive list of Council Scrutiny Committee reports have concluded 20’s Plenty Where People Live.  Enough sources cite 20mph as a “Best Value Policy”. Implementing road danger reduction need not be delayed by duplicating further scrutiny. 

Scrutiny (a.k.a Task & Finish/Best Value Review) is a committee of cross-party, back-bench councillors researching policy recommendations. They look at options to “compare”, “challenge”, “consult” and “compete”. Many scrutinies have had the topic of community wide 20mph limits without humps:



April 2012

Recommended “Subject to consultation, the phased implementation of a “boroughwide 20 mph scheme” for all currently untreated residential roads that do not form part of the “principal” road network”.

Brighton & Hove[2]

May 2010

“20 mph speed limits should be introduced on all residential roads, on roads where there are high numbers of vulnerable road users, and on roads where average speeds are 24mph or less. “Where average speeds on residential roads and in high pedestrian and cyclist use areas are higher than 24 mph, then speed reduction initiatives should be supported by traffic calming measures, although speed bumps and humps should ideally not be used”.


April 2011

“Subject to capital funding being available the task group recommend that the Cabinet develop a programme of work to roll out blanket 20mph limits and zones across the county.”


Feb  & 24 Nov 2011

Executive response to scrutiny was “To approve the inclusion of the Borough Principal and Strategic Road Network under Islington's control .... into the Borough Wide 20mph scheme where funding is available.”

Richmond Upon Thames[5] Mar 2010

“Working closely with Transport for London, the Council should work towards introducing 20mph speed limits, including 20mph zones, on its residential and unclassified roads.”


Mar 2011

“The Council undertake a borough wide consultation process on the proposal to establish a borough wide default 20 mph speed limit for all side roads and the establishment, in consultation with TfL, of a pilot 20 mph speed limit in a suitable town centre”.


Mar 2012

The Executive is recommended “To investigate potential funding mechanisms to implement 20mph speed limits on all C and U classed roads in Manchester with a view to installing the proposed speed limits, subject to public consultation”.


Jan 2012

“Darlington Borough Council continues to support the introduction of 20 mph zones or limits where appropriate and continues to deliver schemes based on evidence within the available resources.”

Ditto for Hartlepool and Warrington.  How many Scrutiny reports does it take to agree a community wide 20mph road speed?  Enough already.  As with trials/pilots of small area 20mph limits, 20’s Plenty for Us say, given the extensive evidence base, scrutiny need not be duplicated as the wheel need not be re-invented.  Bristol found of its 20mph limits, using a mean of a 23% increase in walking and a 20.5% increase in cycling that for each £ spent the return on investment for walking is £24.72 and cycling is £7.47[9]. The DfT states that any schemes giving a return on investment of more than £2 for every pound spent give high value.  Councils can now get on with implementing 20mph limits and raising Britain’s public health and quality of life knowing it is great value for money.

[4] Islington, Executive Member for Planning Regeneration & Transport Report 24 Nov 2011, para 2.2

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