How your local council can support 20mph

By adopting a motion to support 20mph where people live, work and play, your Parish or Town Council will 1) benefit the local community, 2) demonstrate to the Highway Authority the desire for 20mph county-wide and 3) make it cheaper and easier to implement.

Demonstrating widespread local community support is critical to implementing 20mph across a county.  The local Highway Authority sets local speed limits, erects signs and changes road features via a Traffic Regulation Order.  Counties in England such as Cornwall, Oxfordshire and Lancashire, have agreed 20mph for every settlement, as have counties throughout Wales, with 20mph promised by the Scottish Government. In all of those places, 30mph is becoming the exception and will only be on roads that are demonstrably safe for all road users, particularly pedestrians, children and the elderly.

28 million people already live where 20mph is, or soon will be the norm.

Anna Semlyen explains in more detail how Parish Councils can go about getting 20mph for their place:

The template motion and Parish Council briefing sheets can be downloaded below


Why 20mph?

  1. Safer: The UK’s Department for Transport estimates that a 1mph lower speed in built-up areas reduces road casualties by 6%. Successful 20mph schemes result in 30% fewer casualties.
  2. Cleaner (and quieter): 20mph reduces tail-pipe emissions by 25% compared with 30mph and is 50% quieter.
  3. Healthier: 20mph helps to remove the blight of vehicle speed and builds inclusive communities where human activity, including walking, cycling and social interaction, takes
    first place.
  4. Popular: National and local surveys consistently find 70% support in residential streets; such support rises after 20mph limits are introduced.
  5. Accepted as normal by UK local authorities where 28m people live, including all of Wales - where 20mph will soon be the default speed on restricted roads[1] - and soon throughout Scotland[2]. 20mph is global best practice where people mix with motor traffic.
  6. Compliance: 20mph is as enforceable as any speed limit. Even with no additional police enforcement, speeds reduce by up to 6mph on faster roads.
  7. Affordable (and cost effective): Multiple economic, societal and environmental benefits at low cost. Entry signs plus repeaters remind drivers with no need for physical calming or additional enforcement.
  8. Little journey time impact: Congestion, junctions and crossings are the determining factors in built up areas and 20mph rarely affects journey times or bus timetables.

Signed schemes with public engagement are successful and cost-effective!

[1] Default speed limits are set by national governments. Local Highway Authorities can choose 20mph as the norm for residential streets and town and village centres and make 30mph the exception where demonstrably safe.


  1. Local Council motion and briefing (PDF)
  2. Local Council motion and briefing (Word)

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