“20’s Plenty for Us” (UK) welcomes new DfT guidance on Setting Local Speed Limits

Press release (from the UK): 20’s Plenty for Us welcomes new DfT guidance on Setting Local Speed Limits

The DfT have once again added further support to 20mph limits in towns and villages in its latest 2013 guidance to local authorities on setting local speed limits.

On 18th January Stephen Hammond in a written statement to the house said that the new guidance “incorporates recent changes that create more flexibility for authorities to implement 20mph limits and zones.”

The new guidance encourages 20mph  limits in a number of ways :-

  • It identifies as priority for action that “Traffic authorities are asked to keep their speed limits under review with changing circumstances, and to consider the introduction of more 20 mph limits and zones, over time, in urban areas and built-up village streets that are primarily residential, to ensure greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists, using the criteria in Section 6.” (para 12)
  • It recognises the importance of the “composition of road users (including existing and potential levels of vulnerable road users)” as a key factor that needs to be taken into account. (para 30)
  • It recognises that “Fear of traffic can affect peoples’ quality of life and the needs of vulnerable road users must be fully taken into account in order to further encourage these modes of travel and improve their safety. Speed management strategies should seek to protect local community life.” (para 32)
  • On Urban Speed Limits it reminds local authorities that:
    • “Based on this positive effect on road safety, and a generally favourable reception from local residents, traffic authorities are able to use their power to introduce 20mph speed limits or zones on major streets where there are – or could be – significant numbers of journeys on foot, and/or where pedal cycle movements are an important consideration, and this outweighs the disadvantage of longer journey times for motorised traffic.
    • This is in addition to “Residential streets in cities, towns and villages, particularly where the streets are being used by people on foot and on bicycles, there is community support and the characteristics of the street are suitable.” (para 84)

20’s Plenty for Us welcomes this change in guidance.

Rod King, Campaign Director commented: “This publication marks a further step forward in DfT developing its guidance to reflect what many local authorities[1] are already adopting as “best practice” by implementing wide area 20mph limits for most of their urban and residential roads. It is becoming clear that once a local authority fully considers all of its road users and its community needs then the only sensible solution is that 20’s plenty where people live, work, shop, learn, walk and cycle.”

20’s Plenty for Us


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