20mph scheme report causes controversy
The effectiveness of 20mph schemes in the UK has come under fierce debate this week after figures from Bath & North East Somerset Council (BaNES) suggested 20mph zones there had led to a rise in road deaths and serious injuries.
As reported by the Telegraph, a report conducted one year after the introduction of the zones indicated that the rate of people killed or injured has gone up in seven of the 13 zones – possibly due to the reduced speed zones giving a false sense of security – with the council saying that it can’t reverse the £871,000 scheme due to cost concerns.
In response, the 20s Plenty for Us campaign group has said it “refutes the findings and conclusions in the (BaNES) report and advises members that the report is so compromised that it would not be reasonable for them to make any decisions based on the report”.
It also described the report as “biased, lacking in statistical rigour and not meeting several local authority duties on competency and equality”.
Meanwhile the RAC has said it’s far too early to draw “constructive conclusions” from the study and said that only through best practice studies on a national scale and in a wide variety of environments can the correct measures for tackling road accidents locally be properly assessed.
The RAC added that it has consistently highlighted that blanket 20mph zones will never be the solution to speeding in urban scenarios, and said a “combination of interventions” is needed, although it supports 20mph limits around accident black spots and areas with high footfall and vulnerable road users such as around schools and hospitals.