Support for 20mph limits is strong and rising

Wide area 20 mph limits are extremely popular.  Furthermore, approval levels rise, validating the policy’s implementation.  No humps are needed.  

Councillors increasingly receive 20mph limit requests and petitions. Resident approval is strong and it rises after wide area signed 20mph limits are put in.  In Bristol 20 mph’s popularity has gone up significantly since the pilots.  “Residents’ support for a maximum speed limit on their own street of 20 mph or less rose after implementation from 73% to 88%. Residents’ support for a maximum speed limit of 20 mph or less on all residential streets rose from 67% to 83%. Support for a speed limit of below 30mph on main roads also increased from 19% to 36%”[1].  Limits are being extensively rolled out saying “Bristol’s better at 20mph”.

After surveys in Portsmouth found the “scheme is generally supported by the residents who responded”[2].

73% favoured 20mph limits for residential roads in the British Social Attitudes Survey 2011. Only 11% were against[3].  Chichester’s Nov 2012 consultation found 77% agreed with 20mph limits (4310/5613 replies)[4].  It was unanimously approved by Councillors.  York’s Bishopthorpe Road area consultation found 74- 81% support. Oxford’s formal consultation on 20mph limits had 69% approval.

Yet, simply putting “signs on sticks” is not enough.  During the decision making and after the political choice, education and engagement are key to converting the aspiration for slower speeds into driver behaviour change.  Normal ways of controlling drivers via signs, lights, barriers, etc are not available to the same extent. So education, engagement and making the benefits tangible are crucial.  Leading 20mph limit implementers (e.g. Bristol and Liverpool) have substantial Public Health involvement. Marketing 20mph limit benefits - like stopping in roughly half the distance compared to 30mph - is central to compliance and public satisfaction.  The aim is to raise drivers understanding that by going slower they add next to nothing to journey times yet really do breathe life back into neighbourhoods.  For a successful signs only 20mph limit then an adequate budget (>10% physical implementation) is needed for supporting soft measures. Plus project staff with soft skills in communication, marketing and engagement[5] to ‘sell’ the message.

The vast majority agree 20’s plenty where people live, learn, work or shop.  Residential 20 mph limits without humps is definitely a vote winning policy.  Councillors can champion 20mph limits with confidence.  Ask your Councillors for 20mph limits today.

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