Lower Urban Speed Limits in Europe – PACTS research

Lower Urban Speed Limits in Europe – PACTS research

PACTS is leading a research project ‘Lower urban speed limits in Europe – what does the evidence show?’ (LUSTRE). The aim is to investigate the safety benefits of lower urban speed limits. The project brings together an international team of road safety experts, including Professor Mohammed Quddus and Dr Akis Theofilatos, (Loughborough University), Dr Rune Elvik (Institute of Transport Economics, Norway), Professor Lars-Christer Hyden (Lund University, Sweden), Ellen Townsend and Jenny Carson (European Transport Safety Council).

The project is supported by a grant of £60,000 from the Road Safety Trust.

The LUSTRE project will analyse three main sources of information:

  • Development of speed limit setting policy and methods in the UK;
  • A systematic review and classification of reports of 20 mph limits; and a review of the outcomes from the introduction of 20 mph speed limits in the UK;
  • The outcomes from the introduction of 30 kph limits in six countries in mainland Europe, and the policy framework.

The project will produce a report on the development of UK speed limit setting policy and methods over time, considering the evaluation of the policy background and goals of 20mph limits. A systematic overview of UK speed limit reports will also be produced, highlighting the findings and methodology of previous reports in the impacts of 20mph limits. A meta-analysis of the effects of 20 mph limits in the UK, which includes more than 20 studies conducted across the UK will also be conducted. Finally, an analysis of the effects of 30 kph speed limits in Europe will be conducted, and a report produced on the lessons learnt from the European experience of 30kph limits.

The findings will be debated via a webinar and the final report will summarise the evidence, conclusions and recommendations. The intention is to publish in December 2020.

PACTS Executive Director, David Davies, said, “Lower speed limits (20mph/30kph) in towns and villages are now internationally-endorsed as a key element in reducing road casualties and creating safe conditions for people to walk and cycle. This project will explore the evidence of outcomes (speeds, casualties, air quality, walking etc) from area-wide schemes, which have not involved significant traffic calming or police enforcement.”

He added, “30kph limits have been in operation in many towns in mainland Europe for over a decade. Working with an international team of experts and consulting widely, PACTS wants to bring this learning to the UK.”

Sally Lines, Chief Executive of Road Safety Trust said: “The standard of grant applications was really high in 2019 with over 20 received under the theme ‘Innovative traffic calming and provision for vulnerable road users.’

“We are pleased to be able to provide the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety with funding to help achieve our vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on UK roads. We want to make the roads safer for all users, particularly vulnerable road users which includes pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.”

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