20’s Plenty challenges DfT speed data

12.00 | 3 July 2017 | | 3 comments

The campaign group 20’s Plenty for Us is challenging the interpretation of data published by the DfT which suggests that more than 80% of drivers are exceeding the speed limit on 20mph roads.

20’s Plenty for Us says the nine 20mph roads surveyed by the DfT are ‘atypical of most 20mph roads’, a point acknowledged by the DfT in its statistical bulletin.

20’s Plenty for Us goes on to launch a stinging attack on IAM RoadSmart for suggesting there is ‘widespread confusion’ over 20mph limits which is ‘undermining a more general trend to slow down’.

The DfT statistical bulletin and IAM RoadSmart’s comments are covered in a news item published on this website on 30 June.

20’s Plenty for Us says most of the roads surveyed by DfT ‘are arterial without any sign of housing and clearly not residential’. The campaign group has mapped their locations on Google Maps.

20’s Plenty for Us says ‘in most wide-area 20mph roll outs such roads would probably be excluded and left at 30mph, or be given additional signage, engineering or enforcement’.

The DfT report also includes data for these specific roads for 2015 and 2016 which, according to 20s Plenty for Us, ‘demonstrates that compliance is, year on year, increasing on even these atypical 20mph roads for almost every vehicle category’.

Rod King MBE, founder and campaign director for 20’s Plenty for Us, said: “The nine 20mph roads detailed in this report have very little in common with most residential and high street roads where communities set 20mph speed limits to make them safer and more comfortable. Even then, this (DfT) report shows that compliance on these nine roads is improving.

“IAM RoadSmart keep complaining about ‘blanket 20mph limits’ yet most authorities are using discretion to exclude such roads as this report references or add the appropriate engineering or enforcement to gain compliance.

“IAM RoadSmart would be more credible if they called on all speed limits to be obeyed rather than trying to undermine 20mph speed limits where people live, work, shop, play and learn.

“The call for default 20mph limits with exceptions is echoed by many health and road safety organisations, including WHO saying that 30kmh (20mph) is the right speed limit where vehicles conflict with pedestrians and cyclists.”


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Order by Latest first | Oldest first | Highest rated | Lowest rated

    No people who speed do not drive X over the posted limit, even if that were true, speed limits being almost universally exceeded by design is a terrible idea.

    Alex Hosking
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    Equally, it would be possible to find and measure speeds on 20 mph roads where compliance is much higher, if not 100% – but then it wouldn’t make for such a headline would it? As Rod says, it depends on the roads’ characteristics.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Hard to say anything other than…well done Rod. Sums it up perfectly. Would anyone rather live on a street where the speed limit is 30mph and 53% are driving over 30mph or on a street with a 20mph limit, where just 15% exceed 30mph. I know which I’d choose. Btw, on my (20 mph) street, Community Speedwatch records indicate 2 or 3% exceed 30mph.

    Adrian Berendt, TN4
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