Come September, roads in Wales in urban areas are to have the speed limit reduced to 20 mph, i.e. it will replace the 30 limit with a few exceptions. This was a decision made by the Welsh Parliament (the Senedd) but they have already received a petition of over 20,000 signatures objecting.
This is basically an irrational proposal that will not improve road safety or reduce road casualties. A DfT report showed there was no benefit in putting up 20 mph limit signs alone without road engineering measures and they are a waste of money.
In London we have the same irrationality with 20 limits being imposed on main A-roads in some cases. This is making it very difficult to drive in a normal but safe manner on London’s roads and is slowing bus journeys.
The London Borough of Bromley have published an interesting report entitled a “Comprehensive Review of Road Safety…” . See https://cds.bromley.gov.uk/documents/s50105790/Road%20Safety%20in%20LBBromley%20-%20June%202023-Word.pdf . It is well worth reading and was considered by a Council Committee.
Of course there are some Bromley residents who would like 20 limits everywhere in the mistaken belief that road accidents would disappear. This is the response elicited by a question to the Committee: “Response to Question 11: By using 20 MPH zones where appropriate, rather than having a blanket policy, motorists are more likely to respond and drive in accordance with the speed limit. It is worth noting that the 30 MPH national limit was introduced in 1935 when there were 1.5 m vehicles and vehicle safety standards were rudimentary. There are now more than 41 million vehicles in the UK. In 1935 nearly 8,000 people died on UK roads, last year less than 1,700”.
Yes it’s true that before 1935 there was a national 20 mph limit on all roads. It was of course widely ignored and casualties fell when a more realistic limit of 30 in urban areas was introduced.
See this page of our web site for more information on 20 limits: https://www.freedomfordrivers.org/20mph-limits
Roger Lawson Twitter: https://twitter.com/Drivers_London