Tuesday, 26 January 2010

20's Plenty

Today I gave evidence. I wasn’t in court. I was with Roger French, Managing Director of Brighton & Hove Buses and Phil Clarke, the Road Safety Manager of Brighton Hove City Council. We were presenting to the Council’s Scrutiny Panel which is considering whether there should be a 20mph default speed limit for Brighton and Hove. This may sound outlandish, but there’s now plenty of data which shows why it’s a great idea. I was speaking on behalf of Living Streets, the charity that used to be the Pedestrian’s Association. But the benefits of reduced traffic speeds aren’t just for those of us who live without owning a car. For local councils in urban areas, a 20mph default limit is practically a silver bullet, hitting more public policy targets for less money than practically any other single measure – whether it’s cutting deaths and injuries, increasing active travel (cutting obesity) reducing emissions, or just making anywhere a whole lot nicer. The evidence is piling up: the 30 mph speed limit was introduced in 1934 when there were 2 million cars in the UK: today there are over 28 million. We know all about the consequences, and it’s time for a change. When it comes to traffic in towns, 20’s Plenty.

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