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20 MPH Speed LimitsPress Release

20mph Limits: Welsh Propaganda And Oxford’s Dismissal Of Consultations

By 7th November 2022No Comments

The Welsh government’s default 20mph limit ‘communications toolkit’ contains the usual ideological propaganda and Oxford states its ‘principle’ of overriding consultations.

The DfT commissioned the most comprehensive 20mph study to date of 12 areas, which was published in 2018 (1). The findings included that ‘there is not enough evidence to conclude that there has been a significant change in collisions and casualties following the introduction of 20mph limits in residential areas’ and ‘there has been a small reduction in average (median) speed – less than 1mph.’

Despite the authoritative DfT study, the Welsh government continues to claim (2) that 20mph limits will reduce collisions/the number of severe injuries (and reduce the impact on the NHS), more people will walk or cycle, improving health, wellbeing and the environment. General national surveys loaded to produce the desired outcome are used as justification for local policies. Speed limits are also confused with actual travelling speeds and the actual impact speeds pedestrians are hit with. It’s clear from comparing DfT casualty data for pedestrian injuries and pedestrian deaths that vehicle impact speeds with pedestrians are already below 20mph in 30mph limits due to drivers lowering their speed in response to the prevailing road conditions, taking avoiding action and modern braking systems. (The vehicle stopping distances quoted by the Welsh government are based on a 1960s car with drum brakes). Hence the lack of any genuine significant casualty reduction or average speed reduction. Plus, would anyone be encouraged to walk on a pavement or cycle more because numbers on poles get expensively changed from 30 to 20, and are vehicle emissions lower? Probably not. No mention is made of the fatality risk for a pedestrian hit at just 15mph by an e-scooter or bicycle (3) or any suggestion of default 10mph limits for e-scooters and bicycles if Welsh ‘safety logic’ is followed.

Meanwhile, Oxfordshire is busy implementing virtual ghettos or gated communities in the form of anti-car road blocks euphemistically named Traffic Filters and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs). They are also confining car driving residents to city ‘sectors’ via fines, plus, of course, implementing 20mph limits, including roads that previously had higher speed limits than 30mph. Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highway management Andrew Gant recently stated that, “You do have to be prepared to stick to your principles and, in the end, override a consultation” (4).

ABD Spokesman Paul Biggs said: “The intensifying war on driving is purely ideological with little or no support from actual facts or data. It’s therefore no surprise that policies attacking the UK’s 37 million drivers avoid any proper democratic or consultation processes.”


Notes for editors

(1) Report into the effectiveness of 20 miles per hour (mph) road speed limits:

(2) Welsh 20mph Local Authority Communications Toolkit:

(3) Silent E-scooters ‘can be deadly at just 15.5mph:’

(4) Little opposition to 20mph roll-out in Oxfordshire, says Gant:

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