Welsh National Default 20mph - 8 times cheaper than town by town

The Welsh Government can lead on a 20mph default for built up roads. Default 20mph is eight times cheaper than each Local Authority signing 20mph where people and motor traffic mix.  LA’s funding each locality is £9.5-£10.7m more than a national default. We urge Ministers to choose road danger reduction at source for all and choose default 20mph. The approx. £2m cost is only 0.3% of the Welsh trunk road capital budget. 

20’s Plenty for Us have estimated costs for three Welsh speed limit options - do nothing, local authority devolved decision making and a National Default for “restricted” (lighted) roads. 20mph is proven to protect people and raise their quality of life.  Do nothing is not best practice.  Calculations are from Cardiff’s 20mph scheme at £5.61 per head. Fewer signs are needed for default. Signing is only used on 10-20% of roads not 80%.

1        Do Nothing

2        Local Authority by Authority (devolved)

3        Welsh National Default

£0. Yet ignores the evidence that 20mph limits are best practice for public health, popular & cost effective

Cardiff’s 20mph scheme:  £2m or £5.61 p/head to sign 20mph on the majority roads. Rest of urban Welsh population 2.16m people = £12.14m

30mph signs for 10% of Welsh urban population outside Cardiff 216,000 people= £1.21m. Or 30mph signs for 20% = £2.42m.  National TV ads £0.25m

Not best practice. 20mph prevents 20% of casualties. Greater health costs of inactivity. Litigation risks and spiralling social care costs by not protecting the vulnerable.

Total £12.14m plus benefits of reducing avoidable risks. 20% fewer casualties, extra exercise & better quality of life, better air quality etc over option 1.

Total = £1.46 - £2.68m £9.46-£10.68m less costly or up to 8.3 times cheaper than devolved option 2.  Plus better driver compliance from national advertising and consistency. Over 20% fewer casualties

With Local Authorities strapped for cash, there’s a strong economic argument that central Government can save taxpayers £10m by announcing a default 20mph limit change. It would be the quickest, cheapest, most administratively efficient, cost effective option. Plus drivers would notice more messaging on road speeds and therefore compliance is maximised and the benefits greater than a change made by each local authority.

We ask the Welsh Government to stop leaving its citizen’s public health risks on home streets to the postcode lottery of localism. Ministers should announce a plan for the transition to 20’s Plenty where people live, work, shop and learn as soon as possible.  At £2m a default national 20mph limit is only 0.3% of Wales’ trunk road capital budget of £436m. As an interim measure, Welsh Assembly members could delegate powers to allow Local Authorities to sign the edges of communities to state that cities and towns are 20mph unless otherwise signed.

Rod King MBE, Campaign Director of 20’s Plenty for Us said

People prefer to live, work, shop and exercise on 20mph roads. A Welsh national default 20mph limit is the most cost effective way forward.  We recommend Local Authority members lobby Government Ministers to better use overall road budgets and government money by announcing a 20mph Welsh National Default.”

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