20mph/30kmh Global News Progress - June 2020

UK and global progress in adopting 20mph limits is evident in transport recovery responses to social distancing pressures. Politicians are increasingly aware of the scarcity of space to move safely. Slower roads help keep people apart as business reopens.

20 million people already live in UK places where local decision makers have followed the science in favour of 20mph and rejected 30mph. Recent announcements for wide area 20mph limit have been made by the inner London Boroughs of Westminster (1 May) and Kensington and Chelsea (18 May)[1]. The transformation of Park Lane and its new 20mph speed limit by Transport for London has been well covered by media. Wandsworth has made more of the main roads it controls 20mph (adding Garratt Lane, Burntwood Lane, Earlsfield Road) and asked the Mayor of London to reduce all red routes in the borough to 20mph[2]. North Chingford will get a 20mph limit, completing the borough-wide 20mph scheme in Waltham Forest.

All Southend in Essex residential streets will go 20mph. In Oxfordshire, Charlbury has gone 20mph through the town centre and Enstone Road crossroads. Witney Town Council have voted for 20mph limits.  In Kent, Tonbridge[3] and Faversham’s residential roads are to be set at 20mph and there are more streets in Tunbridge Wells going 20mph as well as in Sevenoaks – these two totalling 100 roads. Liverpool is promising to expand its 20mph limits[4]. Bradford will soon add to its 20mph limits in Shipley[5]. Leeds has fast tracked the implementation of city centre 20mph limits.

In Scotland, all of Perth City Centre’s 64 streets have been made 20mph for 18 months with immediate effect[6], Dundee[7] are planning 20mph zones for central Broughty Ferry, the Perth Road area, Douglas and Fintry.

In Dublin, Ireland – the Road Safety Authority is supporting cross party agreed plans to limit speeds to 30kmh on almost all roads in Dublin city and suburbs. The new Covid-19 traffic laws will see a 30kmh limit even on major arterial routes into the city.

In Italy Milan is setting a 30kmh limit for 22 miles of roads. Brussels have agreed a 30kmh default and 20km/h for city streets this summer.  In Spain, Santander city will go 30kmh. Palma, Majorca is changing its city-wide limit to 30kmh (18.5mph). In Granada the centre has a universal 30kmh[8] limit. More of Bilbao has gone 30kmh and Villava-Atarrabiako voted for 30kmh throughout.

In the USA, Washington DC reduced speeds on local roads from 25mph to 20mph since 1st June. Boulder Colorado ratified its 20mph decision.

In New Zealand, Wellington’s politicians unanimously agreed 30kmh for central city streets[9]. Nelson also set a city centre 30kmh limit [10]

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

“Globally politicians are saying 20mph limited streets make sense especially where there is great pressure on space. 20mph limits align with our core values like reducing infection rates, keeping each other safe to restart business and for a fairer, more sustainable recovery. The idea of treating and signing it as an oddity for a few isolated places is long gone. The de-facto standard for safer and people-friendly streets is now 20mph with higher limits only where they can be justified.”


[1] https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/newsroom/all-council-statements/changes-portobello-road-make-famous-market-safe-visitors-post

[2] https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/may-2020/wandsworth-urges-mayor-to-introduce-20mph-speed-limit-on-all-red-routes/

[3] https://www.tmbc.gov.uk/news/archive-2020/action-plan-to-help-retail-centres-re-open-safely

[4] https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/liverpools-post-coronavirus-plan-huge-18240323

[5] https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/18427531.lanes-closed-cars-20mph-zones---major-changes-bradfords-streets-planned-allow-social-distancing/

[6] https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/perth-kinross/1367384/perth-city-centre-becomes-go-slow-zone-with-immediate-effect/

[7] https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/dundee/1321259/plans-under-way-to-close-dundee-street-to-traffic-and-introduce-20mph-zones-across-city/

[8] http://www.movilidadgranada.com/noticias.php?idioma=es&id=392

[9] https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121793372/wellington-city-councillors-unanimously-agree-to-30kmh-speed-limits-on-central-city-streets

[10] https://our.nelson.govt.nz/media-releases-2/new-30kmhr-speed-limit-to-make-nelsons-city-centre-safer/?fbclid=IwAR0nRfizOyw56qQqJwmnmJFovINAcjP8YpZtqpcPR-TTqh1RBCcmkniEP3Q

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