Council to review 20mph limits across the city

February 23 2018

A REVIEW of 20mph speed limits in Bristol will be carried out this spring in order to look at the effectiveness of the lower limits in each area.

A REVIEW of 20mph speed limits in Bristol will be carried out this spring in order to look at the effectiveness of the lower limits in each area.

The review, which will take place over an eight week consultation period, will involve consulting with local residents and councillors to look at how well 20mph is working in each area (including Bishopston, Cotham and Redland), and assess whether there is anything that can be done better.    

In addition, the review will also use the findings of a recent report by the University of the West of England (UWE). The Bristol Twenty Miles Per Hour Limit Evaluation (BRITE) study found that, on average, speeds on more than 100 surveyed roads have reduced since the 20mph speed limits were implemented, with average speeds of between 19mph and 26mph on 20mph roads.  In Bishopston, the average speed was found to be 21.66mph along the 20mph roads in the area.  

Further to this, the report also analysed data from casualties of road traffic collisions in the city before and after the 20mph speed limits were introduced. It found that as a result of the reduction of 2.7mph in average traffic speeds, there is an estimated cost saving of over £15m per year from the fatal, serious and slight injuries that are avoided, and that over four people per year (who would otherwise have died without slower speed limits) are still alive today.  

Eleanor Combley, who is the Green Councillor for the Bishopston and Ashley Down ward, welcomed the findings of the report, saying:

“With these amazing impacts it’s no wonder a clear majority – over 70% – of people in Bristol support 20mph, as demonstrated repeatedly in surveys conducted by the council and UWE.  

“Having large, unbroken, safe areas is what has made Bristol’s 20mph more successful than other cities. Breaking those areas up by increasing the speed on some roads cutting through them will put all these benefits at risk.”

Speaking of the council’s review, Councillor Mhairi Threlfall, Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Connectivity, said: “It is still early days in terms of assessing the impact of 20mph, but the results from this report are a positive indication that lower speeds are making it safer to get around in Bristol.

“What we need to establish is where 20mph appears to be working and where it may not be as effective, and the statistics from this report give us a good indication of that.”

No decisions have yet been made on which roads will be included within the review. Local councillors will be involved in making this decision, which will also seek the contribution of local communities, and the council will issue information about how people can get involved in due course.