Road Safety News
 

Survey shows “overwhelming public support” for default 20mph limit: Brake

Wednesday 2nd April 2014

In a new survey published by Brake, eight in 10 respondents (78%) said that 20mph should be the norm around schools, on residential streets and in village, town and city centres.

The charity says there is “overwhelming public support” for 20mph limits, and is calling on politicians to back its introduction as the default urban speed limit.

Other findings in the survey include: 72% of respondents agreed that roads in their town or village need to be made safer for walking and cycling; 81% said traffic travels too fast on some (51%) or most (30%) of their local roads; 79% said more people would be encouraged to walk or cycle if roads in their town or village were made safer.

Brake and Allianz Insurance are hosting a parliamentary reception today to discuss the benefits of 20mph limits and progress being made by local authorities in implementing them. Speakers include Robert Goodwill MP, road safety minister.

Brake argues that with an estimated 12.5 million people in the UK now living in areas implementing or committed to widespread 20mph limits, the country is reaching a tipping point where it makes social and economic sense to make a national change in the default urban limit, “to the benefit of communities everywhere”.

Brake says that areas that have already introduced 20mph limits have seen “significant reductions in casualties”, including Portsmouth where they fell by 22%, and Camden where crashes reduced by 54%, according to the charity.

Brake is urging members of the public to write to their MP to support its GO 20 campaign and Pledge to GO 20 themselves.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "The GO 20 campaign is about defending everyone's right to walk and cycle freely without being endangered, whether it's to get to work, school, the shops, or just getting out and being active.

“We need to tackle the senseless and violent casualties that continue to happen daily on our roads, and we need to enable people to live healthy, active, social lives. It's clear that 20mph limits in communities can help bring this about - and it's clear this is what people want. That's why so many local authorities are making the switch from 30mph to 20mph.

“With many people already reaping the benefits of living in 20mph areas, we're reaching a point where it makes no sense to retain 30mph as the default limit in built-up areas.

“It's time for the Government to GO 20 nationally, to save councils money and help create safe, active, happy communities nationwide."

 

 

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Hugh:
I know that's what you meant - the 20MPH decision, like most, is a decision which impacts different groups in different ways, has negative and positive aspects probably for all groups, will effect future and other solutions, etc. It is an important decision which requires proper process, and proper process does not include ignoring anyone who disagrees.

From a purely selfish point of view I would like slower traffic on my street but I'm not going to waste my time or council resources asking for a 20 limit because I know it won't make the slightest difference, certainly not to those with loud exhausts and banging "music" who need it the most.
Dave Taylor, Guildford

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)
+2

Dave:
I meant in the context of 20 mph speed limits when I said about the authorities pressing on, not necessarily other things. Are you speaking as a motorist when you don't agree that these limits are 'desirable and appropriate'? They're the group least likely to be affected and we should be considering residents and peds more.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (1) | Disagree (3)
-2

".. that it is desirable and appropriate that speeds do not exceed x mph on a given class or character of road. Full stop."

No. Legal maybe, but a 20 maximum limit is unlikely ever to be "desirable and appropriate".

"The authorities should press on with them and ignore the nay-sayers."

I think you will find that anyone involved in professional safety work (such as I am) will be horrified at such a statement. When I propose a design or a solution, I positively go out of my way to find "nay-sayers", this is the only way to be sure that what you are proposing is robust.
Dave Taylor, Guildford

Agree (3) | Disagree (2)
+1

Derek: I agree. This issue repeatedly gets blown out of proportion and is getting bogged down with 'point scoring' and endless debates. We shouldn't forget that speed limits are ultimately set by the authorities - whether national or local - simply to indicate, with legal backing, that it is desirable and appropriate that speeds do not exceed x mph on a given class or character of road. Full stop. On residential, access and some distributor roads 20 is the right limit and is long overdue. It shouldn't be a big deal for the motorised road user to observe the 20s, but it can mean a lot to the residents and pedestrians. The authorities should press on with them and ignore the nay-sayers.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (1) | Disagree (4)
-3

Hugh,
The fact that this debate rages on and on is indicative of an argument where the principles of one side are not, and cannot be defined or proven sufficiently to warrant it’s continuation. The only basis for 20mph to replace 30mph limits is that made upon emotion and not evidence – it’s all about; ‘what if’ and; ‘It stand to reason’. I’m afraid it doesn’t. There is sufficient evidence in data from TfL, and Lt. Col. Gorman’s report, along with data made available from Idris’s website that clearly indicate such low speed limits per se do nothing for road safety. With ever more complexities to adjust to like varying limits dependant upon location, drivers become distracted by seeking the posted limit on any given road, and looking at their speedometers wishing to comply for fear of being ticketed, and frustrated - at ‘what next’, where is the safety in that?
Derek Reynolds, Salop.

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)
+2

Seems to me the 20 debate is a heated one where those that argue for or against will never meet in the middle or agree. My view is based on practicality. It’s as simple as just experiencing how incredibly slow 20 is. When I’m cycling amongst vehicles driving at 20 they cause me more trouble and conflict than when they are going a bit faster. And when I’m driving, I could never drive as slow as 20 unless the actual circumstances require it, without constant attention to the speedo instead of the road in front. I am safer watching the road for sure and that is what I will continue to do. I could understand a 20 limit as a minimum, but not a maximum, 20 maximum limits are proof that the world has gone mad, and it is simplistic in the extreme to consider a number more important than all of the far more important and complicated factors which will get ignored because everyone thinks that putting up the number 20 is all we need to do.
Dave Taylor, Guildford

Agree (2) | Disagree (1)
+1

Derek:
Idris and Eric's mission seems to me to be to simply denigrate and discredit whenever possible, anything to do with managing traffic speeds on the roads, for reasons not necessarily to do with road safety and that such schemes should not proceed until they have personally approved them which, fortunately, is not the case. Because this site is open to anyone to comment, I'm afraid it's something we have to put up with.

I do support the 20 campaign in principle - not because of any propaganda (I've said eleswhere we should take public opinion surveys with a pinch of salt) - but because I think it's right. I have had reservations about their eventual effectiveness in practice, but after what I've seen today (local village - 30 down to 20), compliance is much better than I expected, with typical speeds significantly lower than before (including the non-private vehicles Rod!) - not 100% compliance, but promising. Whether the motorists complied because they 'supported' it or simply because it's the law, I don't know but I could see it worked and that's good enough evidence on its own for me.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (3) | Disagree (2)
+1

Hugh,
You said that speed limits were not really a question of ‘public support’, yet here you side with a party who claims such public support for 20mph limits is overwhelming. From those contributing to this debate, clearly there is little support for something that has been the Road Traffic Law since 1934 – and is the Law. 20’s plenty want to change it through public support via surveys which at best are suspect, yet their evidence for their claim for 20mph limits reducing accidents is lacking – virtually non-existent. Historic data shows reduced speed limits cause more accidents.
Derek Reynolds, Salop.

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)
+2

Rod King, you ask for empirical data, but when proffered it ignore it as it appears not to suit your cause. If any bias is being expressed, it is that of the 20’s Plenty brigade. Ignore the facts – let’s get emotional. Please see my previous post. The “mission” Hugh Jones refers to is to develop and educate towards better road safety, hence the title of this website. Reducing speed limits to less than has been the norm in built up areas for many decades by force, is neither educational, nor has been proven in the past – safe.
Derek Reynolds, Salop.

Agree (2) | Disagree (1)
+1

Idris

The driving test was brought in with the same bill that established a 30mph limit in 1934. I would point out that it was you who claimed that "the abolition of the nationwide 20mph limit in 1931 resulted in fatalities that had been rising steeply, levelling off until WW2".

We have challenged your assertion of causality saying that many other factors were involved. You cannot wriggle out of this by suggesting that we need to prove the opposite of what you have asserted. So please. Where is your evidence of the alledged causality between the the removal of the national 20mph limit and casualties reducing in the period leading up to the 2nd world war?
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)
+1

Hugh:
I reject your accusation of bias - I report what I find without it. You will find on my web site many discrepancies between Rod's statements and the evidence I provide.

Rod - I suspect the driving test came in several years after the steeply rising trend suddenly levelelled off, as did the introduction of 30mph limits in towns (still with no limit elsewhere). Vehicle numbers at the start of WW2 were about 25% higher than in 1930, recession or no recession. Of course we need to be wary of confounding factors, but no one could find in those graphs any evidence that removing 20mph limits increased road deaths.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (5) | Disagree (4)
+1

Idris:
Because you and Eric are on the same mission, you're probably not going to look too closely for flaws in his data or analysis anyway, whereas you would with Rod's. Hardly a surprise.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (4)
+2

Idris:
I somehow think that the introduction of the 30mph limit, driving tests, recession, better roads, better cars etc may just have had some effect on the trend of early 20th century road fatalities up until the 2nd world war! But if you say that it all down to the removal of all speed limits in 1930 then I guess it must be true.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)
+1

http://www.fightbackwithfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/GB-1926-2007-Most-data.pdf shows graphs of all available data from 1926 and confirms that the abolition of the nationwide 20mph limit in 1931 resulted in fatalities that had been rising steeply, levelling off until WW2. There being no vehicle mileage data before WW2 fatalities per vehicle mile is unknown, the dotted lines show the likely limits.

Once again I am pleased to see that there is nothing like "overwhelming support" here for 20mph limits, nor do I believe that an independant poll asking neutral questions would find it. The difference between Eric's observations and Rod's is not the contrived one offered by Hugh but that I have never seem any flaws in Eric's data or analysis, but often to in Rod's.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (6) | Disagree (8)
-2

The average man (or woman) on the street when asked out of the blue if they would like 20 limits in their street is quite likely to say yes without thinking about it too much. But they are also unlikely to be aware of the full range of issues and if they do drive, and have probably never even tried to drive at 20. And they are unlikely to have based their response on a balanced consideration of their preferences and the needs of those who need to pass through their street to somewhere else. If you asked them if they would like lower council rates they would probably say yes also. Doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

I have developed over 30 years a good way of driving where there may be vulnerable road users. It involves looking at the road ahead, thinking about where hazards may come from and using position and speed to bring the chances of any kind of collision with anything to almost zero. I never look at my speedo when I am amongst vulnerable road users but probably my speed is far below 20 under these circumstances because 20 would be dangerous. I am thankful that many other drivers seem capable of using their common sense like this. I am very concerned about the shift from encouraging attentive, polite, and intelligent driving to an obsession with a number, it is far worse in many ways.

I once tried to drive on a road at 20 MPH where there was not any kind of likelihood of a vulnerable road user appearing and it confirmed to me the absurdity of 20 as a blanket maximum speed under any circumstances.
Dave Taylor, Guildford

Agree (12) | Disagree (4)
+8

If the vast majority of the travelling public are law abiding citizens with a social conscience (85th percentile rule), why is it that simply changing the road sign from "30" to "20" only results in a one mile per hour reduction in speed? Perhaps it is because the vast majority of people don't support 20mph limits even if they say they do. While surveys may show the public "overwhelmingly" support 20 mph, once they are installed the public vote with their feet and show "overwhelmingly" they don't want them.
Bill, Belfast

Agree (11) | Disagree (1)
+10

If one was to survey a section of road being considered for a 20 mph limit, one would find that the average speed would vary over the day depending on the level of pedestrian activity. Research has shown as indicated above that the majority of drivers adjust their driving to suit the risks relevant to the environment. So to place a 20 mph limit on a section of road where for example for 15 hours of the day there were virtually no pedestrians, and then have heavy levels of enforcement would be a lose lose situation. Responsible drivers would be prevented from travelling at a safe speed which would be higher than 20 mph over those 15 hours, and responsible drivers would be infringed even though their driving safely.

And because of the above the speed limit should be set at the 85 percentile level which would be present if there were no speed limits.
John Lambert, Australia

Agree (9) | Disagree (6)
+3

20mph limit in east Cambridge wins 72% support - as first phase of £600k scheme comes into force in city's north.

Read more: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Cambridge/20mph-limit-in-east-Cambridge-wins-72-support-as-first-phase-of-600k-scheme-comes-into-force-in-citys-north-20140408064000.htm#ixzz2yGzOGVGT
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (2) | Disagree (12)
-10

The 20's Plenty people have no understanding of safety, or of travel, or of the behaviour of the 80% of responsible drivers. The reason we walk, cycle, ride, drive or travel on public transport is to achieve our goals in life - travel is essential to modern life. So the real question is how do we achieve the highest travel amenity while having levels of trauma acceptable to the community. 20 mph zones fail this test simply because there is no evidence they reduce the level of trauma, and in the presence of heavy enforcement they do reduce travel amenity. In 30 mph zones the number of collisions with pedestrians is very low when compared to kilometres of travel. And based on the trauma mix from deaths to minor injuries the average impact speed in those rare crashes is no more than 5 mph (no more than 1 foot from being stopped) and this is in spite of the fact that speed surveys tend to show average speeds are more like 35 mph. This is because the vast majority of drivers chose speeds and clearance distances that are appropriate for the conditions so they can brake or swerve to avoid a collisions.
John Lambert, Australia

Agree (11) | Disagree (7)
+4

Terry:
As far as speed limits are concerned, it's not really a question of 'public support' - it's the law of the land. You might as well say there appears to be overwhelming public support for driving on the left, going clockwise around roundabouts and stopping at red traffic signals - they're rules, not options.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (4)
0

Last week the London Evening Standard was campaigning for 20 limits across London using the old chestnut that people are less likely to die when hit at 20 than when hit at 30. On another page in the same paper there was a report of the death of a woman who tried to cross against the lights and was hit by a bus that was just moving away having been stationary at the lights. the bus speed was not quoted but my guess is that it would have been much less than 20.
Bobbio Chiswell Green

Agree (14) | Disagree (3)
+11

Eric: If you advocate speed limits being set at the 85th%ile, then even if it were logistically and legally possible to do this, a lot of current National 60s would come down to 50 (or even 40) but more importantly in the context of this thread, a lot of 30s would have to come down to 20 which is what Rod is seeking anyway. You both get what you want.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (12) | Disagree (7)
+5

Robin Pegg says: "....I have witnessed near misses, and the cars were only travelling at 20 or below." That is why they were near missess and not collisions.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (10)
-4

How gratifying to see lots of new names commenting on this forum. Increasing the number of ideas and observations on a problem can only be a good thing.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on avon

Agree (10) | Disagree (1)
+9

You do not need carefully contrived questions about 20mph speed limits, just go out on your local roads. There is not even "overwhelming public support" for the 30mph limit! Mandatory 20mph and switch brain off; no thanks!
Terry Hudson, Kent

Agree (12) | Disagree (4)
+8

Robin Pegg is absolutely correct in stating many children, as well as those in their teens, are quite complacent to vehicle presence and speed – any speed – whilst crossing roads. Is this due to a certain degree of arrogance inherited from lackadaisical parental practices, or one from the likes of campaigners encouraging children to monitor vehicle speeds thereby targeting one type of road user by another and propounding lower speeds as a solution to accidents, thereby removing the responsibility from one group onto another?

With regard to empirical evidence, there was a report published in 1946 by Lt. Colonel Mervyn O’Gorman CBE who analysed road accidents within the Metropolitan Police area of London. He graphs accidents by speed and fatality from 1920 through to 1926, and from 1925 to 1936. Whilst these dates may seem archaic compared to today, the description of the ineffectiveness of the 20mph limit applied prior to 1930 in causing accident reduction (it increased), and the evidence that from when the 20 limit was removed in 1930 - fatalities dropped, shows we have been here before, and his summary of the overall reasons for accidents are just as valid today as they were over seventy years ago.

His report is available from the British Library of Political and Economical Science.
Derek Reynolds, Salop.

Agree (16) | Disagree (4)
+12

Q2. Do you think it would encourage more people to walk or cycle if roads and routes in your town/city/village (or in towns/villages in your area) were made safer? Nowhere in this question does it refer to speed limits just making routes and roads safer which could be done through pedestrianisation, segregated cycle paths and mending potholes. Also where do these representative 1000 adults live? Their responses may be flawed if they live in a 20mph zone or the highlands of Scotland.
Peter Westminster

Agree (16) | Disagree (3)
+13

I once had a guy step off the kerb to my right and start to cross the road. As I approached him and he neared the centre of the road he started waving his hand in a "slow down" gesture. He had a very annoyed look on his face. I checked my speed and I was doing less than 20. I have had more than one car driver pull out in front of my motorcycle who's first words were "How fast were you going?" People, pedestrians particularly, are poor judges of the speed of passing cars. The reason why there are very few Gatso's outside schools is that, despite many complaints, when the police do a speed check as they did in my area, it was found that the cars were rarely exceeding 20 due to the usual congestion that exists outside a school at picking up or dropping off time. Most folk think cars drive too fast in Tesco's car park and yet you would be hard pressed to find anyone doing anywhere near 20.
Nicholas Elmslie

Agree (28) | Disagree (3)
+25

Whilst I would agree that some drivers and driving leaves a lot to be desired, I would also mention that doing the "school run" for the grandchildren for many years, there is a definite need to educate children about crossing the road. On many occasions I have witnessed young children and children from the 14-16 age group cross the road without looking. On more than several occasions I have witnessed "near misses", and the cars were only travelling at 20 or below. Also, cyclists break the law on so many occasions and some seem to have no regard for anyone but themselves. I have been involved with road safety for over 50 years now and I don't think all the blame can be put on the motorist. Granted there are some absolute idiot drivers on the roads and they should be dealt with accordingly, but to heap all the responsibility on one section of the road using public is wrong. All users need to be more aware and educated.
Robin Pegg, Norfolk

Agree (24) | Disagree (3)
+21

The DfT is apparently planning an investigation of 20mph effects - how many years will it take them and how much more will be spent before it is known what the effects are? And please! No more trials - all the necessary data is already out there, all it needs is to complile and assess it. I see no sign here of the supposed overwhelming support for 20mph areas extending to agreeing with Rod!
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (17) | Disagree (11)
+6

Nope. No place in Eric's world for gimmicky campaigns - just made-up titles like 'Independent Road Safety Research' to try and give some credence to his views. At least Rod’s road safety campaign actually exists and is trying to achieve something positive.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (13) | Disagree (11)
+2

20MPH near schools yes, however, the majority of vehicles pass me when I am obeying the speed limits whether it be 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70. I appear to be an annoyance at sticking to speed limits by those that pass me. So do we need to change speed limits or enforce the current ones? Set the speed limit to 20 and vehicles will travel at 30 to 40mph, I will cause even more road rage by travelling at 20mph. Spend the money on enforcing what we have already!
David Matthews Northamptonshire

Agree (15) | Disagree (6)
+9

Rod,
I do not have anything as gimmicky as a campaign. As a safety professional, I seek improvements to road safety (ie reduced casualties) and have focused on exposing false claims for that. I have never promoted "increasing speeds", but I do advocate setting speed limits in accordance with the 85%ile speeds, and I certainly advocate the removal of speed management devices that cause more collisions than they could ever prevent.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (13) | Disagree (18)
-5

You don't need to convince me of the theoretical benefits of 20 zones Rod, it's their acceptance by the motoring public to realise these benefits in everyday reality, that I have my doubts about. Hope I turn out to be wrong obviously.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (4)
+2

Hugh
I think that is an issue associated with being in transition from a 30mph norm to a 20mph norm. Already most of our largest authorities now accept the benefits of lower speed limits for residential roads. In many of those the police are starting to play a role in gaining compliance and their hand will be strengthened when speed awareness courses come available for breaking the 20mph limit.

As I keep saying, its a societal change and we have many years of the establishment endorsing 30mph driving on residential streets. It will take time to adjust and while the consensus has already been achieved the apparatus of conformity is still being assembled. Hence we have every reason to expect that the benefits of 20mph limits will become even greater in the future.
Rod King - 20's Plenty for Us, Cheshire

Agree (5) | Disagree (14)
-9

You may be right about some of these vehicles having trackers Rod, however from what I can see, they do not seem to be deterring these drivers from speeding now! Would their employers know when they were in a '20' zone anyway?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (11) | Disagree (0)
+11

Hugh
Many of those non-domestic vehicles will have trackers whereby their employer's know exactly what speed they are doing. Their employers should be aware that speeding on community roads creates a negative reaction to their logo and brand and therefore has commercial dis-benefits.

Dave
Our campaign is so successful because it taps into a changing culture which recognises that our public spaces between houses have become dominated by motor vehicle usage and now needs adjusting to 21st century community needs and values.

Eric
I am still not sure what your actual campaign is. Negativity seems to rule. Can you make any positive suggestions towards road safety? Has your "research" come up with anything other than "increase speeds" and "decrease speed management". Maybe time to say what you really stand for!
Rod King 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (7) | Disagree (12)
-5

There are only three speeds. Faster than me, slower than me and the same as me. The only one we like is the third one, the others are just a source of annoyance.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (14) | Disagree (2)
+12

As I said at the Harrogate Conference, 20’s Plenty for Us’s problem is that their name is based on a solution (20mph) rather than a desirable outcome in solving a problem. They may claim to have a number of aims but if some universally agreed aim (in this case, road safety) does not benefit, they have nowhere to go except to plough on regardless. There are similarities here with high rise tower blocks, which were seen as a "quick-fix" to update our housing stock following the War. Initially, they were welcomed, and their excellent views made them popular living places. Later, as the buildings deteriorated, they developed a reputation for being undesirable low cost housing, and many tower blocks saw rising crime levels. Many such have now gone. 20mph may have seemed a good idea originally, even though their safety aspirations were based on the misguided principle that hitting pedestrians at slower speeds kills fewer of them. But the undesirable effects of 20mph, and the nature of unfounded claims for improving road safety, have now become clear.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (19) | Disagree (15)
+4

Rod
I can understand how you could engage with the communities and even win some of the die-hards over as they are, after all, directly affected. However, a surprising proportion of traffic in residential roads is non-residential and non-local i.e. tradesmen, commercial, utilities, deliveries, even public service vehicles etc, some of the drivers of which are not minded to driving lawfully and considerately - how would that be addressed?

Don't get me wrong - I support your initiative in principle, but in practice I feel you may be a bit optimistic about actual compliance.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (5) | Disagree (11)
-6

Can I clarify that members of the Go20 alliance are NOT campaigning for all current 30mph roads to be set at 20mph. We have never campaigned for that. What we are campaigning for is that 20mph should be the default in urban areas with exceptions which may be 30mph, 40mph or even 50mph. The key is that any such exceptions left at 30mph are considered exceptions rather than being 30mph just because they have street lighting.

And yes Hugh, it is very much about people making a lifestyle decision about how they drive in roads shared between motor vehicles and people. That's why so much of our engagement is with communities.
Rod King 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (4) | Disagree (16)
-12

Quite right Duncan. It's not unusual for drivers who have been pulled up for speeding to ask why not enough is being done about the speeding in their own road! We have a different perception and attitude to traffic speed, depending on whether we are in 'resident/pedestrian mode' or 'driver mode'.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (16) | Disagree (0)
+16

Perhaps the black box suppliers could do an experiment and wire up the cars belonging to people in one area to see how fast they go in a different area to their own. The results would be quite interesting and probably at variance to the results in the survey.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (13) | Disagree (1)
+12

The 20mph campaign is a campaign with good intentions, but it's a crusade that has very little if any empirical research into whether 20mph speed limits actually reduce accidents. In fact, it appears that drivers through frustration at being unnecessarily held at 20mph, tend to speed-up and drive faster than the sign-posted speed limit immediately after they have travelled through these zones.

The problem is, it’s very hard to argue against what appears on the surface to be a good road safety initiative, who wouldn't rather be hit by a car travelling at 20mph as opposed to 30 or 40mph?

Of course 20mph speed limits are a good safety initiative directly outside vulnerable areas such schools, hospitals, elderly residences etc. But I fear making all 30mph roads into 20mph zones is, in my opinion, very likely to lead to an increase in road casualties. For this reason, I believe that there should be no more 20mph zones created until proper research is carried out into the effectiveness or otherwise of 20mph zones in reducing road casualties.
Charles Dunn RoadDriver.co.uk

Agree (24) | Disagree (3)
+21

I agree with Dave in that public opinion surveys promoted by pressure groups can easily be slanted to give the desired viewpoint for publicity purposes and are not really much help and one should take their 'objectivity' with a pinch of salt.

I've no doubt however, that an 'anti-20' pressure group (if there is one) could easily produce a public opinion survey claiming "overwhelming public opposition" to '20' schemes, again simply by using carefully worded questions and if there ever was such a survey, I would hope that Dave, in the interests of fairness, would scrutinise it with the same degree of objectivity and suspicion that he has, quite rightly, with Brake's.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (16) | Disagree (3)
+13

The survey results do not show “overwhelming public support” for default 20mph limit.

There are 6 questions where the final question may well have been the purpose of the survey but, despite having led the respondent toward the desired answer, Brake still only just achieved a slim majority (53%). That is not “overwhelming public support”.

Had the questions led in the other direction, perhaps starting with “Are some 30mph speed limits too low?” I suspect a different public response. It's not public opinion that would have changed, it's how and what they were asked. What might change public opinion, though, is if they knew, for example, that serious injury rates have increased in the largest 20mph area in Britain and other places. 20mph in scientific trials would inform everyone with the best quality evidence.

We must congratulate 20sP and Brake for a brilliant political campaign constantly in the news.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (26) | Disagree (5)
+21

I'd be quite happy with "temperance", 20MPH is going too far though.
Dave Taylor, Guildford

Agree (21) | Disagree (3)
+18

Some of the 81% who think that vehicles travel too fast on their local roads are, without realising it, actually complaining about themselves. Motorists can be keen to judge others, but can be blind to their own flaws.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (38) | Disagree (0)
+38

Well I am just having a coffee at the John Wesley Café in the Central Methodist Hall, Westminster before attending the Parliamentary Reception. I can't help thinking that if John Wesley had been alive today he would certainly be thinking that "temperance" should apply to the way we move automobiles around our streets.
Rod King 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (5) | Disagree (21)
-16