Winning with 20mph: Awards and Desirability

Warrington has won 20mph awards and praise as has Brighton.  Bristol was voted ‘most desirable city’ in the UK. Cambridge, Britain’s innovation centre, also has 20mph limits.  The UK’s most celebrated places are winning prestigious prizes for 20mph.

Warrington has scooped prizes in the annual awards of both the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation North West and the Highways Magazine for their 20mph limit project and its community benefits.  Brighton and Hove won Europe’s Top Transport award for policies to promote the environment with a package that included 20mph limits. It was named City of the Year in the CIVITAS Awards.

MoneySuperMarket[1]assessed the largest 12 UK cities by factors like salaries, unemployment rates and life satisfaction.  Top were: 1. Bristol 2. Edinburgh 3. Cardiff and 4. Liverpool.  Three are embracing 20mph limits as the wide area default and Cardiff is trialling them.  Bristol also won the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live in Britain[2] accolade.  Landmark cities like Oxford, Cambridge, York, Brighton, Birmingham and Manchester already have, or will soon have, large areas at 20mph.

Cambridge not only outstrips all other UK places for ideas, patents and house prices rises but saw the fourth highest British population growth rate.  People are moving to 20mph places.  London, Cardiff, Oxford and Leicester are all in the top 10 for population growth according to the Centre for Cities Outlook[3] rankings.  Property values rise where traffic speeds fall - it’s a desirability premium from better safety and quieter ambience[4].  Willingness to pay studies show that the benefit of less noise is worth over £200 per household pa[5]; all this for a once off £3 per head mainly capital investment in 20mph limits

21st Century citizens want travel options rather than streetscapes that force them, their children and parents, into cars.  Car dependency isn’t sustainable with economic growth in already congested places, or where housing land is scarce.  Mobility poverty is a consequence of allowing excessive speed.  Choose the freedom of 20mph instead. Anna Semlyen, National Campaign Manager for 20’s Plenty for Us said:-

Increasingly mobile young professionals choose locations based on quality of life and not just job prospects.  How safe and pleasant getting around is really matters.  Cities compete for talent and councillors would be wise to choose area-wide 20mph to attract the best people to walk and cycle there.”

Tourists value 20mph limits as this makes strolling around sightseeing more pleasant. See

Cities attracting prestigious prizes, wealth, growth and tourists are 20mph.  It’s a smart move for the economy.  Councillors, Officers and Campaigners are all welcome to book the National 20mph conference on 12 March in Cambridge -'s_miles_better.htm

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