Fleet News

Eight in 10 back 20mph limits

There is overwhelming public support for a maximum speed limit of 20mph to be the norm around schools, on residential streets, and in village, town and city centres, a survey suggests.

The research, commissioned by road safety charity Brake and Allianz Insurance, shows eight in 10 people (78%) back a 20mph maximum limit and comes as Brake takes its Go 20 campaign to Parliament.

The Brake and Allianz Insurance survey also found:

• Seven in 10 (72%) say roads in their town or village need to be made safer for walking and cycling

• Eight in 10 (81%) say traffic travels too fast on some (51%) or most (30%) of their local roads

• Eight in 10 (79%) think it would encourage more people to walk or cycle if roads and routes in their town or village were made safer

Speakers at the Brake and Allianz Insurance Go 20 Parliamentary reception today (April 2) will discuss the benefits of 20mph limits and progress being made by local authorities in implementing them.

Areas that have already introduced 20mph limits have seen significant reductions in casualties, such as Portsmouth where they fell by 22%, and Camden, where crashes reduced by 54%.

Other high profile local authorities now implementing 20mph limits include the City of London, Birmingham, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "With many people already reaping the benefits of living in 20mph areas, we're reaching a point where it makes no sense to retain 30mph as the default limit in built-up areas. It's time for the government to Go 20 nationally.”

Click here for safety and risk management best practice and procurement insight

Login to comment


  • Steve - 02/04/2014 11:19

    If people don't stick to the 30mph limit then why will they adhere to a 20mph limit ? The amount of times i've followed someone in a 50/60 mph limit doing 40mph only for them to carry on doing 40mph when they go through the 30mph limit. I wonder how many accidents happen because of a direct link to speed and not because pedestrians and cyclists feel they have the freedom of the roads. I guess I fall in the 20% who feel its a bad idea to reduce the speed and feel it should be spent on better education. No doubt the people campaigning for the 20mph limit are the ones that park on the zig zag lines and double yellows near schools causing people to take risks and run out between cars.

  • Mike - 02/04/2014 11:23

    Steve, do you have kids? Ever driven past a school? Do you believe in statistics and facts?

    • Steve - 02/04/2014 11:51

      @Mike - No i don't, but i do drive by a school and stick to the 30mph limit, I also stick to the advised 20mph limit if i go by during school hours. When I do go by schools most parents seem to have a disregard for the highway code and park everywhere. I agree that by lowering the speedlimit would reduce the risk of serious injury but i also believe that statistics can be manipulated to give the information that they want you to believe. Driving while drunk or using a mobile phone hasn't stopped despite prison sentences or points on your licence. Oh and I have a wife who's mum was killed by a drink driver.

    • mark roberts - 02/04/2014 12:27

      @Mike - As mark Twain once said, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. However for what its worth it makes perfect sense to limit speed to 20 mph near schools. Its a similar discussion to what we had about cyclists sometime ago, just as you expect cyclists to ignore their role in road obedience, you can expect kids to do the same only they have an excuse, they are kids

  • GrumpyOldMen - 02/04/2014 11:30

    Juts ban cars altogether? We're reaching the point when there's no point in having one since we're all being overtaken by bicycles in any town/village/major highway (what makes you think 20 will be restricted to high risk areas? That's far too sensible) with a 20 limit. These are the people who banned hopscotch in schools because it was far too dangerous. We have reached a point where statistics over-rule common sense. On the positive side, at least the limit will be 20mph, not 30mph with 15mph speed humps which is just a subversive way of changing the speed limit without going through due process. We must of course continue to support the premise that the motorist is always to blame for any accident and that pedestrians and cyclists can never be at fault or need regulating. That would be absurd.

  • GrumpyOldMen - 02/04/2014 11:34

    Just to clarify for Mike, I do have 2 kids who have grown up safely because they were taught to cross the road sensibly (lots of parents don't bother so who's to blame?), I do slow down around schools (agree 20 limits should be applied here), and I use statistics every day for a living so I understand them (and how they can be misinterpreted). And yes, Steve, we've all come across Mr 40 who can't do any other speed regardless of the limit.

  • Steve B - 02/04/2014 11:49

    I agree for the need to restrict speed limits around schools but why not adopt the approach they take in Australia and only enforce the 20mph limit during school opening / closing times. I am sure drivers wouldn't feel so frustrated as there is a tangible reason for these restrictions. Whilst I was over in Oz, everyone without fail adhered to these restrictions during school times.

  • Mike - 02/04/2014 11:56

    To Grumpyoldman..sounds like we are in total agreement, hopscotch shouldn't be banned, kids should know their green cross code/ tuffty club (!) and 20mph is good around schools.

  • Rory Morgan - 02/04/2014 12:07

    My first thoughts are, what logic are the 2 out of 10 people using not to agree??

    • Steve - 02/04/2014 12:50

      @Rory Morgan - Since I would be in the 2 out of 10, 20mph outside of a school, fine I have no issue with it but address the other issues around parking at schools. Blanket 20mph ban in urban areas ? not for me thankyou, it's like saying lots of people get stabbed (overkill i know) so lets ban the sale of knives :)

    • Pedro - 02/04/2014 13:04

      @Steve - I agree completely

  • Audrey G - 02/04/2014 12:48

    We have had a 20mph speed limit through our village for the past 2yrs and it is only now that the message is getting through (sometimes). Seems like a drag but here, traffic travelling at 20mph allows the driver more time to manoeuvre safely if need be. How many people need to park on the road nowadays? Traffic travelling at 20mph allows you time to reverse-park your car; it allows 2-way traffic to pass parked cars at the same time instead of 1 driver having to brake while the other one steams through; and it buys time for a driver to nip into a gap between parked cars (if there is one) in the face of oncoming traffic. It saves pedestrians having to jump out of the way when a vehicle mounts the pavement so it can push through where there’s only width for 1 car. Yes, it might seem like a drag- 20mph, but hey - set off a little earlier. And you know, driving a little slower for a short distance, you really do start to chill…………………

  • Pedro - 02/04/2014 12:55

    Cracking a nut with a sledgehammer springs to mind. Is this really the best idea that anyone can come up with? I completely agree with 20mph restriction around schools but pretty much everywhere outside of a motorway?? Madness. As for the survey I can only imagine who was asked about this! Rory Morgan...shame on you!

  • Rob - 02/04/2014 13:39

    I suspect the 2 out of 10 don't stick to the speed limits, which is why they are so against this. The comment about people not sticking to 30mph in the first place is reinforcing the need for a 20mph limit. The speeders will probably drive just under 30 in a 20 zone, thinking they are cool, so in effect are driving at the right speed to be able to react should a pedestrian or child walk out into the road. Remember the ads "Its 30 for a reason". Driving nearer 40 in a 30 zone gives you less chance to react in time and less chance for the pedestrian to survive from being knocked down. How anyone can disagree with this is beyond me. If it adds a few minutes to your journey then just get up earlier and set off earlier.

    • steve - 02/04/2014 13:55

      @Rob - I think you will find most people don't stick to speed limits, but its not about speed, its about speed in relation to the conditions. Anyone with common sense would slow down outside a school during school start/finish time, having a blanket 20mph enforcment for all areas is overkill. Just by lowering the limit to 20mph isn't going to stop those who speed. I try to keep within the limits in 20/30/40mph areas but on a Motorway where the limit is 70mph i would be lying if i said i've never been faster than 71mph. 70/80/90mph isn't an issue, but in thick fog/rain or being 2 meters behind the car in front is totally wrong. Its about driver education but the responsibility must also be born by others that have access to the roads, cycle paths and paths. To say that the 2 out of 10 must be the ones who don't adherer to the speed limits is wrong, I wouldn't mind betting that the 8 out of 10 people are actually the biggest culprits of speeding.

  • M.A.Roberts - 02/04/2014 17:06

    I have just read the above article and I have to say that this is health and safety gone bonkers. I have driven for some 48 years so I believe I am somewhat qualified to comment. Yes I agree that in certain circumstances during school hours there is great merit in reducing speeds down to 20 MPH fine but would it not be worth considering 25 MPH in other circumstances? In percentage terms the reduction from 30 to 20 is a drastic move keeping in mind the ability of most vehicles to stop in an instant with today's technology built-in to the modern vehicle. Why are we only able to consider speed in terms of tens instead of units? 25 MPH is a speed which keeps traffic moving but at the same time creates cautionary thoughts in the mind of the driver. I am not advocating that we never consider 20 MPH but it does not have to be one size fits all!

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee