49% of drivers do not support a blanket 20mph speed limit on urban roads, according to a survey published today (15/5/14) by the IAM.
In the survey of 1,000 drivers, 49% of respondents were against a blanket 20mph speed limit, 31% supported the idea and 20% were undecided. The survey indicates that male drivers are more likely to be against 20mph limits than female drivers.
55% of younger respondents were against 20mph as a speed limit for towns, while 34% of older drivers were in favour.
The IAM says the survey indicates that drivers are “very supportive” of lower speed limits outside schools, with 94% of respondents supporting this. Areas with “heavy pedestrian flows” (37%) were the next most popular – but just 8% of respondents supported 20mph limits near cycle lanes.
More than three quarters of respondents (76%) said they believe that 20mph speed limits help to increase safety for pedestrians, but only 21% saw it as a positive advantage for cyclists. The survey indicates that pollution and noise are not seen as important benefits.
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “Drivers are not as negative about 20mph speed limits as many commentators would have us believe. Those responding to our survey found it quite easy to stick to 20 and there is large-scale support for 20mph outside schools.
“However, most drivers don’t want 30mph zones to be replaced with 20mph in towns. Many drivers still need to be convinced it would be a benefit.
“Good design and widespread consultation is the key to the successful use of 20mph zones as a road safety tool because limits that match the road environment enforce themselves.”