PACTS has noted Richard Holden’s opposition to Wales’ decision to implement a 20mph speed limit in urban areas. Our concern arises from the perceived lack of alignment with current evidence supporting the life-saving potential of lower speed limits, especially for vulnerable road users, including children.
To address this, PACTS is taking action by drawing attention to the RST-funded report on Lower Urban Speed Limits in Europe (LUSTRE) to both Richard Holden and the Prime Minister. We urge them to endorse this critical work and consider its implications for safer urban environments.
Additionally, it is critical to highlight that while we await the release of the DfT Road Safety Strategic Framework, the existing Road Safety Statement from 2019 seems to endorse the adoption of 20mph limits (refer to section 4.22). However, we acknowledge the availability of more up-to-date evidence.
The findings from the LUSTRE report align with the Department’s guidance on ‘Setting Local Speed Limits,’ emphasising the numerous benefits of 20mph schemes, including enhancing quality of life, fostering local community well-being, and promoting healthier and sustainable modes of transport, such as walking and cycling.
The guidance further underscores the authority of traffic authorities to introduce 20mph limits or zones in specific contexts, particularly on major streets with a significant pedestrian and cyclist presence, even if it means slightly longer travel times for motorised traffic. It also encourages their implementation in residential areas where community support exists and the street characteristics are conducive.
We invite PACTS members and our wider community of transport safety professionals to join us in advocating for evidence-based road safety measures. The current discourse, we believe, poses risks to road safety and jeopardises the UK’s position as a global leader in this critical domain.