There are a number of misconceptions associated with 20mph that are often voiced by individuals who are more willing to explain "why we can't" rather then explore "how we can" enforce 20mph limits in our city.  Below are the most frequently encountered by other campaigners (Taken from the 20s Plenty Website) :

1). Speed Bumps: "You cant put in place 20mph limits without traffic calming measures which are unpopular and expensive!"

Incorrect- Local traffic authorities have the power to introduce 20mph speed limits without obtaining consent from the Secretary of State. Speed limits are set for individual roads and can be implemented without traffic calming measures therefore costing very little and still producing a significant decrease in speed. Compliance is increased by publicity, driver awareness and community involvement. Speed Zones however are more effective and refer to a collection of streets with a 20mph speed limit. They do need some form of traffic calming however it need not be physical. There is no mandatory requirement for speed bumps. Build-outs, road marking, signs and rumble strips can all be used to calm traffic speeds in 20 mph speed zones. Specially designed exit and entrance signs are used to mark a 20mph area.

20mph sign

2). Slower Journeys: "If you slow traffic down to 20 mph then it is obvious that journeys will take 50% longer. This will cause delays and is not acceptable."

Incorrect- However it must be noted that if you did indeed travel at a steady 20mph throughout your journey it would take 50% longer than if you drove at 30mph. What isnt being considered here is that on our roads today we very rarely travel at a constant speed of 30mph. Such things as bends, blind spots, pedestrians, cars turning right, traffic lights etc. mean that you have to slow down or stop frequently throughout your journey. The maximum speed at which you can drive between obstructions simply increases the time you have to wait at the next obstruction.

In most places in the UK you will be within a third of a mile from a 30mph arterial road. It has therefore been estimated that the maximum increase in car journeys time from the introduction of 20mph on residential roads would be 40 seconds; 20 seconds at each end of the journey.

Far from slowing a town to a crawl 20mph in residential areas make hardly any difference to journey times.

3). Police Will Not Enforce It: "The police will not enforce 20 mph. Therefore it will be ignored by motorists."

Incorrect- In my cities across the country police authorities are taking action against people found speeding in 20 mph limits. There are many difficulties in enforcing speed limits on short stretches of road and introducing 20mph speed limits on road lengths as little as 100m has meant that these cannot be enforced. BUT no such difficulties have occured on longer stretches of road!

Therefore mandatory, default 20mph limits on ALL residential roads could be easily enforced. Most importantly however along side the police 20mph speed limits are very much "community led and establishment endorsed". There is strong support from communities for lower speeds and with the recent increased police focus on community policing, police forces see that if accompanied by proper engagement and education with the public then 20mph limit can be enforced with a "light touch" and works within the long established British principle of "policing by consent".

It also encourages people to walk or cycle and therefore reducing their car-created pollution entirely.

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