The majority of people support a cut in the urban speed limit, new research shows.
Almost eight in every 10 Brits agree that the 30mph limit must be cut to 20mph in the city centres and also on residential streets.
This is according to a survey done by a survey road safety charity Allianz and Brake Insurance.
They asked a representative sample of 1,000 UK adults: Do you think 20mph should be the norm around schools, on residential streets, and then in village, town and city centres?
Traffic ‘too fast’
The research also found that almost three-quarters of individuals say that the streets where they live should be made safer for walking and cycling.
Meanwhile, 80% say that traffic travels too fast on no less than some of their local roads.
Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, says: We need to tackle the senseless and violent casualties that continue to happen daily on our roads.
We also need to enable people to livehealthy and active, social lives.
It’s clear that 20mph limits in communities will help bring this about and it’s clear this is what people want.
20mph limit sees fall in road casualties
According to the Department for Transport, the number of casualties resulting from road accidents dropped by over a fifth following the introduction of a 20mph limit in parts of Portsmouth in 2010.
Stricter limits have also been introduced in Birmingham, London, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
Brake now states that the government should impose a national 20mph limit in urban areas rather than depend upon a piecemeal approach from local authorities.
The findings come at any given time when many councils across the UK are implementing 20mph limits in busy areas.
Cardiff introduces 20mph speed limit
Last month, Cardiff Council began a pilot scheme to cut the legal limit to 20mph in the Cathays and Plasnewydd areas of the town.
Councillor Graham Hinchey says that a public consultation prior to the scheme showed Cardiff residents were strongly in favour of a lower limit.
He adds: Over half of the people who responded towards the survey claimed that reducing the speed to 20mph will encourage them to cycle or walk on a regular basis.
Alex31 and Higgs, an advertising and marketing manager, lives in one of Cardiff’s pilot areas but says he or she is not sure what effect legislation change may have.
‘How will lower speed limit be enforced? ‘
He says: I do not know how they would enforce it unless they put cameras in the most obscure of streets, which I imagine would be expensive.
Without more cameras or police radar guns, I imagine that the sensible drivers will still drive sensibly, and the speeders will continue to speed anyway.
But overall, he supports the idea.
Streets like mine have cars parked each side, and I lose count of the number of times stupid people walk out from behind a parked four-wheel-drive, van or people carrier without looking.
It may also make people who are reticent about cycling on the roads that little more likely to undertake it, and with it the associated health and environmental benefits.
Brighton and Hove lower speed limit
Brighton and Hove is another area where 20mph limits have already been imposed recently.
The local authority started its scheme in March 2013 and is currently extending the number of areas where the 30mph limit has been cut.
Transport councillor Ian Davey says that the city is already beginning to reap the benefits of reduced limits as the number of casualties has fallen.
That means people can gradually feel safer on the streets where they live, making neighbourhoods more accessible and pleasant for everyone.
‘People drive like maniacs’
Brighton resident Laura Santer says that she is definitely in favour of limits being cut to 20mph over the city.
People drive like maniacs along our road where there are several schools and nurseries, she says.
However, she adds, most drivers appear to ignore the lower limits around the main roads into the centre of Brighton.
I believe they would need to police the routes with cameras to create the speed limit enforceable.