Why is the urban speed limit not 20MPH by default?

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  • Why is the urban speed limit not 20MPH by default?
  • Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    In Britain…

    More than half of road deaths and serious injuries occur on roads with 30 mph limits (Transport Statistics for Great Britain).

    Britain has the highest percentage of pedestrian road fatalities in Europe 22.5%. (EU European Road Safety Observatory)

    Britain has one of the lowest levels of children walking or cycling to school in Europe.

    Speed limits on Britain’s urban roads are 60% higher than Europe. (30 mph compared to 18.6 mph)

    British parents consistently cite traffic speed as the main reason why their children are not allowed to cycle or walk to school.

    Lowering urban and residential speed limits to 20 mph has been found to increase a urban journeys by just 40 seconds maximum.

    Lowering urban and residential speed limits to 20 mph has been found to decrease child pedestrian accidents by up to 70%(Transport Research Laboratory). In Portsmouth the 20mph limit on all residential roads has reduced casualties by 22%.

    http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/rationale_for_20_mph.htm

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Speed limits on Britain’s urban roads are 60% higher than Europe. (30 mph compared to 18.6 mph)

    Seems to be 50km/h here in Germany most of the time, or 30mph.

    JonEdwards
    Member

    Well the local MPs canvassed us about changing our area to a 20mph limit.

    We suggested that first they might want to enforce the 30mph limit a bit more effectively first. I reckon well over half of the motorists are doing more than 30, and a good proportion are nearer 50. (typical victorian sidestreet, parking both sides, not enough room for 2 cars to pass side by side).

    Heard nothing from them since then.

    ourkidsam
    Member

    Britain has the highest percentage of pedestrian road fatalities in Europe 22.5% of….?

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    sounds good to me.

    (both 20mph and actually enforcing it)

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    In Portsmouth the 20mph limit on all residential roads has reduced casualties by 22%.

    Surely that proves speed limits should be reduced even further ?

    How about 10 or 15mph ?

    Although I reckon that a 5mph speed limit would most likely reduce casualties by 100%

    Let’s go for that !

    Junkyard
    Member

    the car is king look at folk signing petitions to lower fuel prices you just cannot mess with drivers in a democracy as every one owns one- so many lost votes- and they view any other road user as an impediment to their progress. Dont slow them down etc
    It is clearly a good idea- would make parts of my commute slower though

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
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    It’s also 50 in Canada, molgrips, but I would argue that German drivers (at least in many parts of the country) are not trying to navigate the same types of roads that we have to here in Britain, and that even when they are, they are far, far more pedestrian-and-other-road-users-conscious than British drivers.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Sometimes I struggle with comparing Britain (one country) against Europe ( a continent). But, that said, I find the sense of travelling more slowly compelling.

    I recall the outcry a year or two back at the parents who encouraged their primary school aged kids to cycle to school in London.

    What we need is a…

    …critical mass 😉

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    In 2011, the UK had the safest roads in the world.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    In 2011, the UK had the safest roads in the world.

    Safest for who?

    ourkidsam – Member
    Britain has the highest percentage of pedestrian road fatalities in Europe 22.5% of….?

    I’m guessing they mean that 22.5% of road traffic accidents involving a pedestrian result in a fatality (though intuitively this seems high to me?). i.e. our accidents are more likely to be lethal than European accidents – presumably because of the greater speed involved.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Safest for who?

    Specifics shmecifics.

    don simon
    Member

    our accidents are more likely to be lethal than European accidents – presumably beacise of the greater speed involved.

    Not driven in Spain, have you?

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    They mean that 22.5% of fatalities on British roads are pedestrians.

    Yes, but you dont strive to be the best, you strive to avoid killing anyone.

    I’d vote for a 60mph limit on the motorway while we’re at it.

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    Speed limits on Britain’s urban roads are 60% higher than Europe. (30 mph compared to 18.6 mph)

    Why that comment when it is very clearly false ?

    Britain has the lowest urban speed limit in Europe.

    http://www.europe.org/speedlimits.html

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    I’m fresh from a Speed Awareness Course and brimming with statistics. C’mon…hit me!! (but not with a car)

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    In 2011, the UK had the safest roads in the world

    you mean this year (so far) less people have died than….? which countries, when?
    It seems DfT don’t have 2010 figures up yet but in 2009 2,222 people died on the roads (and crossings, and pavements and grass verges) 12% less than 2008 but I’m sure you’d agree still 2,222 too many.

    retro83
    Member

    Britain has the highest percentage of pedestrian road fatalities in Europe 22.5%. (EU European Road Safety Observatory)

    Meaningless without knowing the total number of accidents, and what ratio of road types a country has. E.g. do we have proportionally more journeys through town than other countries?

    Speed limits on Britain’s urban roads are 60% higher than Europe. (30 mph compared to 18.6 mph)

    Not in the European countries i’ve been to.

    Lowering urban and residential speed limits to 20 mph has been found to increase a urban journeys by just 40 seconds maximum.

    Just worked out my normal ‘urban’ journey and it actually adds 2m55s so they’re wrong there too.

    Btw. The UK has the safest roads in Europe already depending on which sources you choose to look at 😉

    How about instead more emphasis on the Green Cross Code and the Cycling Proficiency course?

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Maybe we need the automotive equivalent of this Slow Bicycle Movement.

    Too many fat boys would have their little weenies drop off if we reduced the speed limits in urban areas. To them this would be a greater disaster than the current death toll.

    20 on “urban” roads, 50 on d00l carrij ways and 60 on mowtah ways.

    average speed cameras everywhere.

    big spike in the middle of the steering wheel.

    having to re-take your test every 5 years.

    all cars limited to 60 apart from emergency services and racing cars that cannot be used on public roads.

    sorted.

    don simon
    Member

    I’m fresh from a Speed Awareness Course and brimming with statistics. C’mon…hit me!! (but not with a car)

    Would a Porsche 911 turbo trump a Ferrari Testarossa on top speed?

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Just worked out my normal ‘urban’ journey and it actually adds 2m55s so they’re wrong there too

    yes but your normal journey @20mph max won’t be exactly 10mph slower than it is now will it? You are only travelling at 30 for a small portion of the time, junctions lights crossings etc stop start. The above is saying normally you won’t really notice the difference. (tho your perception tells you you’re going a lot slower but perception is rubbish)

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    More than half of road deaths and serious injuries occur on roads with 30 mph limits

    This statistic is meaningless on its own. We’re not told, for example, what percentage of roads are 30mph roads, or what the volume of traffic is like on those roads. If the 30mph roads make up 1% of the total, that’s a very different situation to one where 30mph roads make up 99% of total roads.

    You can’t simply say “half of the accidents occur on a 30mph road” and automatically assume that half of the accidents occur because it’s a 30mph road.

    Standing on this statement alone, it’s equally valid to suggest raising the limits to 40 would solve the problem.

    Britain has the highest percentage of pedestrian road fatalities in Europe

    Again, meaningless statement. Percentage of what? Total population? Total road users? And it tells us nothing about cause; do we have an allegedly high rate because we’re worse drivers, or because there’s more people driving?

    Britain has one of the lowest levels of children walking or cycling to school in Europe.

    Yeah, they’re all in mummy’s chelsea tractor.

    Speed limits on Britain’s urban roads are 60% higher than Europe

    We also drive on the left. And? Does this correlate with anything? We’re not told.

    British parents consistently cite traffic speed as the main reason why their children are not allowed to cycle or walk to school.

    I thought British parents consistently cited fear of nonces as the main reason why their children are not allowed to cycle or walk to school. Where’s this study come from? Oh, wait, we’re not told. There’s a theme here.

    Lowering urban and residential speed limits to 20 mph has been found to increase a urban journeys by just 40 seconds maximum.

    Depends how far you’re driving. Go anywhere near a school at rush hour and you’ve more chance of spontaneously combusting than you have of getting anywhere near the speed limits, it’s hardly surprising that changing the limit has little effect.

    Lowering urban and residential speed limits to 20 mph has been found to decrease child pedestrian accidents by up to 70%(Transport Research Laboratory).

    What sort of statistic is “up to” 70%? Either it’s 70% or it isn’t, decreasing it by 0.5% is still “up to” 70%.

    In Portsmouth the 20mph limit on all residential roads has reduced casualties by 22%.

    Because people are going slower, or because traffic’s going elsewhere? Assuming the former, that’s the only sensible statement in the entire bunch.

    Next.

    Not driven in Spain, have you?

    No I haven’t, Cyprus was scary though. And I wasn’t saying this is the case. Just trying to interprete the statistic. But i got that wrong anyway!

    They mean that 22.5% of fatalities on British roads are pedestrians.

    This isn’t a particularly useful stat for comparing the relative safety of pedestarians around europe. It could just mean that we have safer cars (in terms of driver/passengers safety).

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Would a Porsche 911 turbo trump a Ferrari Testarossa on top speed?

    It depends.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    More than half of road deaths and serious injuries occur on roads with 30 mph limits

    This statistic is meaningless on its own. We’re not told, for example, what percentage of roads are 30mph roads, or what the volume of traffic is like on those roads. If the 30mph roads make up 1% of the total, that’s a very different situation to one where 30mph roads make up 99% of total roads.

    If half occur on 30-limit roads, changing that speed limit will affect half the casualties, so it’s not meaningless. It’s not saying 30mph roads are more dangerous per mile or per journey.

    Britain has the highest percentage of pedestrian road fatalities in Europe

    Again, meaningless statement. Percentage of what? Total population? Total road users?

    Dealt with above. Of all the road deaths, 22.5% were pedestrians.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    They mean that 22.5% of fatalities on British roads are pedestrians.

    Comparatively, do we have more pedestrians? Or perhaps, safer cars? Fewer people dying in cars in high speed collisions = an increase in the percentage of pedestrian deaths, statistically.

    Not that I’m disagreeing or agreeing with the campaign, I’d like to stress. I just like poking holes in bullshit emotive statistics that are designed to mislead.

    mudshark
    Member

    I’d vote for a 60mph limit on the motorway while we’re at it.

    Don’t see the point in that but fine when busy, indeed I’d have variable speed limits clearly marked, like on M25, up to 90mph but strictly enforced.

    retro83
    Member

    D0NK – Member

    Just worked out my normal ‘urban’ journey and it actually adds 2m55s so they’re wrong there too

    yes but your normal journey @20mph max won’t be exactly 10mph slower than it is now will it? You are only travelling at 30 for a small portion of the time, junctions lights crossings etc stop start. The above is saying normally you won’t really notice the difference. (tho your perception tells you you’re going a lot slower but perception is rubbish)

    I occasionally need to give way at the single mini roundabout I cross but that’s it, (oh and I usually slow down a little to revel in running over a few kids, knocking off a cyclist or two etc) but otherwise maintain 30 for the entire way. So yes, it is almost a linear 50% extra time.

    The point is anyway it’s a ridiculous meaningless stat.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    It’s not saying 30mph roads are more dangerous per mile or per journey.

    Which is exactly why it’s meaningless, because that’s what it *should* be saying. Otherwise there might be more accidents on those roads simply because there’s more of them.

    jools182
    Member

    ernie_lynch – Member

    In Portsmouth the 20mph limit on all residential roads has reduced casualties by 22%.

    Surely that proves speed limits should be reduced even further ?

    How about 10 or 15mph ?

    Although I reckon that a 5mph speed limit would most likely reduce casualties by 100%

    Let’s go for that !

    +1 ernie – it’s ridiculous, of course 20mph will result in fewer accidents, as would 10, 5, 2

    30mph is plenty slow enough, I hardly ever get to that speed as it is

    and just to light the blue touch paper, its about time the motorway limit was increased

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    A bit of clarification from 20s plenty Retro tho they still don’t cite their sources/studies

    Also most places will be within a third of a mile of a 30 mph arterial road. Hence the maximum increase in actual car journey time from introducing 20 mph on the residential roads would be 20 seconds at each end of the journey. In reality this would be far less. So 40 seconds is the maximum expected increase in journey times.

    and just to light the blue touch paper, its about time the motorway limit was increased

    Yes but just as the 20mph would need enforcing for it to work, all the motorway toolery would need to be stopped before you let people drive even faster than they do now.

    titusrider
    Member

    Do you lot never drive anywhere! I would die of bordom going everywhere at 20.

    b r
    Member

    mean that 22.5% of fatalities on British roads are pedestrians.

    Just means that more foreigners die in their vehicles, or maybe we get more tourist who look the wrong way when crossin the road?

    Or a thousand other reasons, other than the one you’ve picked.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I believe the approach some people on here are ultimately advocating has been tried already. It was effective at reducing accidents, though was generally regarded, as car use grew, as slightly labour intensive.

    However, with unemployment set to ride to 3 million this year, the present government are considering resurrecting it as a means of keeping the common peasantry to some good use. Both keeping them out of mischief and teaching them their place, and ultimately reducing their numbers

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Okay, why should be not have 40mph as a default?

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