The DfT is to commission research into the effectiveness of 20mph speed limits in order to “support and inform future policy development on 20mph speed limits and zones”.
In the tender document, the DfT says: “While there is evidence suggesting that 20mph zones are effective in reducing collisions and speeds (as well as leading to other benefits), there is an evidence gap on the effectiveness of 20mph speed limits”.
The new research will set out to “establish the effectiveness of 20mph speed limits, in a range of settings, which is robust enough to attribute any impacts to the scheme”.
In the tender, the DfT says that while monitoring data from 20mph speed limit schemes in Portsmouth and Bristol “indicate potential benefits, the evidence from these studies is inconclusive”.
The project will set out to evaluate the effectiveness of 20mph speed limits in terms of a range of outcomes including speed, collisions, injury severity, mode shift, quality of life, community, economic public health benefits and air quality.
It will also examine drivers’, riders’ and residents’ perceptions of 20mph speed limits and assess the relative cost/benefits to specific vulnerable road user groups including children, cyclists and the elderly.
The study is a three-year project with a final report anticipated in early 2017.
The project is being tendered through the DfT’s ‘transport-related technical and engineering advice and research (T-TEAR) framework’, rather than an open competition. For more information contact Graeme Mateer at the DfT.