A ‘local democracy think tank’ has published a policy briefing note in which it describes area-wide 20mph limits as “a win, win, win for local authorities”.
The briefing describes 20mph schemes as “a potential vote winner for councilors” and suggests that they bring “multiple benefits to local people”. The benefits identified by LGiU include “fewer deaths and injuries, increased physical activity, increased local (trading) activity and better quality of life for local people”.
However, the paper says that the biggest public health gain is the potential for tackling the ‘inactivity timebomb’.
The paper says: “Researchers at University College London have found that half of children aged seven don’t get enough exercise; a lack of sufficient physical activity is reflected throughout the population, with enormous consequences for health and social care spending in the future.
“One study found that switching from commuting by car to an active transport mode could create annual health budget savings from £1,121 (cycling) to £1,220 (walking) per person because of the increased health benefits from an individual being more active.”
The paper concludes: “Given the potential for lower speed limits to improve health, facilitate local economic activity, reduce pollution and create better quality of life for local people, lowering the cost of implementing 20mph seems a sensible way forward, especially for a government committed to cutting red tape and devolving more power locally.”
For more information about the briefing contact Janet Sillett at LGiU.