20’s Plenty calls for Scotland to do better than England

12.00 | 9 June 2016 | | 6 comments

20’s Plenty for Us has called on the Scottish Government to ‘do better than England’ and change the default speed limit in built up areas from 30mph to 20mph.

Asking decision makers to accept that 20mph is the ‘scientifically proven and popular default limit’ for built up areas, the call came as 20s Plenty held its first conference in Scotland (8 June).

The conference, ‘Ready for 20 Scotland’, was hosted by the City of Edinburgh Council and supported by Transport Scotland.

20’s Plenty describes changing the national limit to 20mph as a ‘cost effective win-win all round’ in terms of the legal process, consultations, engagement, higher compliance and enforcement.

The campaign group adds that the move ‘makes more sense economically’ by removing the need for local authorities to erect 20mph signs on 90% of urban roads.

It claims that the majority of the 40 largest UK authorities consider the default 30mph limit ‘not fit for purpose’.

Rod King MBE, founder of 20’s Plenty for Us, said: “The Scottish Government can do better than in England by making 20mph their national default limit as soon as possible.

“20mph is proven as best practice, popular and the cost effective way to do it is as a national limit. Drivers are more likely to take notice, be engaged with 20mph and voluntarily reduce their speeds. Compliance is maximised and there are fewer enforcement issues.”


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    MH of Scotland might like to view the many pedestrian/vehicle collisions on You Tube for an idea on the impact speeds and approach speeds of such collisions and how they could have been avoided if the drivers had been travelling at slower speeds than they were, had been looking where they were going and most importantly had been looking out for pedestrians about to cross their path.

    If a significant proportion of the motoring public can’t be trusted to do this voluntarily within the existing default 30 limits, then a desire for enforced speed reduction via a new lower default urban limit is understandable. Slower speeds = more time to see, anticipate and react. Too many motorists don’t seem to get that.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Can’t accept that it’s ‘scientifically proven’ until you provide scientific evidence to prove it.

    The paper you link to is based on a review of 5 studies, and ruled out significantly more studies. I’d suggest that further research is needed before you can state your ‘scientific’ claim. Perhaps a meta analysis of previous research would support it.

    The claim that increased 20mph zones lead to increased compliance and speed may be true, but has consideration been given to the likelihood of equal compliance rates in the case of a blanket change of limits?

    If you respond to this, I wonder if you could also provide evidence as to the number of accidents in urban location which involve no deceleration on the part of cars involved. While a collision at 20 is far more likely to see pedestrians survive than at 30, I suspect that most collisions in fact involve a lower speed, and that very few take place at 30.

    MH, Scotland
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    Another case of 20s Plenty over stating their case. Until the issue of very widespread non compliance and general lack of enforcement is resolved it is and will likely remain a flawed policy. Yes Scotland do better – Take 20s Plenty with a big pinch of salt.

    Pat, Wales
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    Yet another example of the 20mph schemes which mess up the natural hierarchy of the road network and lead to confusion and therefore less safe outcomes for everyone using the road.

    Steve Armstrong, Halifax UK.
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    There have been plenty of reports on pilots and implementations which show that 20mph limits have lowered speeds on almost every road and reduced average speeds for the area concerned. These have supported Traffic Authority objectives across a wide range of outcomes and therefore adopted in a wide-area, and often authority-wide, rollout. Such policies have been adopted for communities with 25% of the UK population.You can see some references to these in our briefing at http://www.20splenty.org/we_love_our_safer_20mph_limits

    In fact 20mph limits have been tested and piloted in ways which I cannot recall ever being done to justify the 1934 30mph limit.

    We note that when the conference delegates (many from local authorities across Scotland) were asked whether they “favoured a national 20mph limit with exceptions decided locally” then there was a near unanimous show of hands. Our report on the conference may be viewed at http://www.20splenty.org/scotsnational20report

    Rod King, Cheshire, 20’s Plenty for Us
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    I don’t think that it is as yet been scientifically proven? If I am incorrect maybe one could publish the results of such scientific trials.

    R.Craven Blackpool
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