Monday, 10 December 2012

20mph: The People’s Choice

Following the recent decision of Brighton and Hove Council to go ahead with 20mph default speed limits in the centre of the city, a recent briefing from 20’s Plenty shows that wide area 20 mph limits are extremely popular, and approval levels rise after implementation. Particularly as no humps are needed.
According to 20’s Plenty, “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%.” Limits are being extensively rolled out saying “Bristol’s better at 20mph”.

73% favoured 20mph residential limits in the British Social Attitudes Survey 2011. Only 11% were against. Chichester’s 2012 consultation found 77% agreed with 20mph limits (4310/5613 replies). It was unanimously approved by Councillors. York’s Bishopthorpe Road area consultation found 74- 81% support.

Yet, simply putting “signs on sticks” is not enough. 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 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.”

Click here for full briefing with references.

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