Council's 20mph zones keep communities safe

6 October 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s four-year programme to increase the number of 20mph speed limits on residential roads is now complete.

An analysis of the first three years (125 schemes) showed a 43 per cent reduction in vehicle collisions, a 14 per cent reduction in collisions where someone is killed or seriously injured and a 47 per cent reduction in collisions causing slight injuries.

Nationally, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) reported that in 2019, 817 people were killed, 20,885 were seriously injured, and 91,153 were slightly injured in reported road collisions on built up roads (40mph or less).

A large proportion of these collisions occurred on residential roads, with 121 deaths on B roads in built-up areas and 280 deaths on other minor roads in built-up areas.

The average short car journey in the UK is just two and half miles and travelling this distance at a constant speed of 20mph adds just an extra two and half minutes to the journey time, compared to travelling the same distance at a constant 30mph.

Councillor Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for Environment said: “Lowering the speed limit in residential areas helps make the streets safer for all road users. Those hit by a car at 20mph are far more likely to walk away with bruises and minor injuries than those hit at 30mph.

“Slower speeds on roads will help to make walking or cycling more attractive options, something the Council is very keen to encourage. 20mph zones are part of our broader plans to give residents more confidence to walk, scoot and cycle.  Slower traffic means people feel happier to cycle in their area, or to take a walk instead of using the car.

“20mph zones are proven to be effective - particularly for children - a review of 72 schemes by RoSPA found that child pedestrian accidents went down by 70 per cent and child cyclist accidents went down by 48 per cent.

“Please be aware than 20mph zones exist across the borough, drive at or below the limit and help keep our communities safe.  Better still, if you can, please consider more active methods of travel, like walking or cycling, for shorter journeys and leave your car at home.”

An analysis of the final year’s schemes will be available in the spring next year.

Notes
View the Scrutiny report to the Council’s Scrutiny Committee
Providing analysis on the project over the past three years, a further report will be presented next spring. 
 
The Full Rospa report is available online.
 
For more information on, Incidents involving children data, visit RoSPA website.

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