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Government move to encourage more 20mph limits welcomed by Brake

The guidance sees the Department for Transport ask local authorities to consider the introduction of more 20 mph limits and zones, over time, in urban areas and built-up village streets that are primarily residential, to ensure greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

It also advised local authorities to consider widespread 20mph limits when mean speeds are already low over a number of roads within the area, and acknowledged the benefits this had achieved in Portsmouth.

The DfT added that research has shown that the risk of a pedestrian dying in a collision with a car increases slowly up to an impact speed of around 30mph, but at speeds above 30mph the risk of death increases rapidly.

The move has been greeted by road safety charity Brake, which is part of the GO 20 coalition of 10 national charities calling for 20mph to become the norm across built-up areas.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: ‘This guidance is an important step towards making streets safe for people to walk and cycle, by encouraging local authorities to implement more life-saving and life-enabling 20mph limits. It is a great improvement on the previous guidance, which often created barriers to authorities lowering limits, even when local groups were calling for this.

‘The evidence shows that 20mph limits can deliver huge benefits: preventing devastating casualties, enabling more active lifestyles, and making communities more liveable and people-friendly. We believe 20mph is the most appropriate limit in our towns, villages and cities, and should become the norm, as do numerous other national charities campaigning for this as part of the GO 20 coalition.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.