Calderdale Council’s director of public health says there has been a 30% reduction in road casualties in the three years since the introduction of a wide area 20mph limit in the West Yorkshire district.
Paul Butcher announced the casualty reduction statistics at a council committee meeting on 26 April, adding that on the roads most recently introduced to the 20mph scheme, casualties could fall by around 40%.
Mr Butcher’s report also revealed a 1.9mph fall in the average speed on roads with a 20mph limit, based on 3.5m vehicle speed checks.
The intervention is described as ‘cost effective’, with the casualty reductions estimated to have delivered a saving to the public purse of around £3m – more than three times greater than the total investment of £821k.
Calderdale Council says there is ‘continuing public support’ for 20mph, with recent surveys showing more than 80% support in the towns of Todmorden and Sowerby Bridge.
The campaign group 20s Plenty for us has congratulated Paul Butcher and his colleagues at Calderdale Council, describing the town’s ‘popular and well coordinated’ 20mph scheme as a ‘triumph of safer community streets’.
Rod King MBE, founder and campaign director of 20’s Plenty for Us, said: “Calderdale’s public health and transport team makes a real difference to implementing 20mph.
“When we go beyond traffic management and seek to empower people to change their driving behaviour for the good of the community then everyone wins especially those unnamed people who do not end up as casualties on our roads.
“This success is being reflected in other places such as Bristol where four fewer fatalities per year are estimated from 20mph limits. It’s clear that the UK’s national 30mph limit, with more than 100,000 casualties per annum, is no longer fit for purpose.
“It’s time to set a national 20mph limit for urban/village roads and let local authorities decide the exceptions.”