ITS (UK) comments on 20mph speed limit study

One of ITS (UK)’s leading experts in enforcement says that 20 mile per hour speed limits need to be better enforced to increase the number of drivers complying with the limit.

ITS (UK) Enforcement Forum Honorary Secretary, John Jones of SNC Lavalin Business Atkins is reacting to a Department for Transport study into the 20 mph zones.

It concluded there is not enough evidence to conclude that that there has been a significant change in collisions and casualties following the introduction of the limits in residential areas.

It further discovered that 20mph limits are supported by the majority of residents and drivers.  Furthermore, while there has only been a small reduction in median speed of less than 1mph, vehicles travelling at higher speeds before the introduction of the 20mph limit have reduced their speed more than those already travelling at lower speeds.

As a general comment, my perception is that unless compliance can be improved then 20mph speed limits will have little value,” Jones said.  “The obvious way to improve compliance is with enforcement, which leads back to the discussion at the ITS Enforcement Forum annual conference that there are few arrangements/ funding in place for 20mph enforcement at present.”

Atkins, Aecom and Professor Mike Maher (UCL) were commissioned by the Department for Transport in 2014 to address a gap in the evidence available on the effectiveness of 20mph speed limit (signed only) schemes. Twelve case study schemes were studied, from a variety of area types, road types and scale.

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