NICE Backs 20mph Speed Limit for Public Health

A new NICE review on tackling the causes of early death reminds Local Authorities that 20mph offers huge public health gains. At £3 per head of population, 20mph is cost effective as the recommended speed limit for child protection and to support public sector equality duties.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent organisation providing guidance to improve health and social care. It publishes evidence on what works from research into best practice. NICE is the ‘gold standard’ on correct information on public policy. Its February 2015 briefing for Local Authorities builds on earlier 20mph research with advice on its cost effectiveness in encouraging population based preventative interventions. NICE advises that:-

Implementing 20 mph zones, with priority given to protecting children and young people in disadvantaged areas who face the greatest risk, could lead to a 100% return on investment in the first 12 months.”

Local authorities are referred to the NICE report on preventing unintentional road injuries among under-15s: road design[1] on 20 mph limits, 20mph zones and engineering measures to reduce speed or make routes safer.

Anna Semlyen who has an MSc in Health Economics and is 20’s Plenty for Us Campaign Manager said:

NICE says 20mph speeds protect children cost effectively.  Any health technology with a first year full return is clearly worth funding. Top Local Authorities are tackling road danger in their child and vulnerable people protection policies by setting 20mph as their reference speed limit – such as most of inner London, York, Oxford, Cambridge, Lancashire, Bath and Bristol.  13.5m Britons already have default 20mph or it is promised.  NICE have given a wake-up call to the others!”

Public Health officers, Councillors, Transport and Marketing Officers and Campaigners are all welcome to book the National 20mph conference on 12 March in Cambridge to learn best practice.'s_miles_better.htm

Calderdale’s Director of Public Health Paul Butcher (@PaulPaulbutcher) will speak on why he’s investing £500k on Implementation of wide 20mph limits to achieve public health outcomes.  Dr Joanne-Marie Cairns, Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Public Health Geography, Centre for Health and Inequalities Research (CHIR), Department of Geography, Durham University will explain The impact of 20mph on public health based on equalities research published in the Journal of Public Health Medicine[2].  Nicola Wass of Somoco will describe Liverpool’s extensive public health education campaign on 20mph limits and co-production marketing. 


Other expert speakers on active travel promotion include cycling champion Chris Boardman MBE and Joe Irvin from Living Streets.  Delegates will also learn about the public sector equalities duties on setting speed limits.

[1] Preventing Unintentional Road Injuries Among the Under 15’s Nov 2010

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