Main Points of Evidence to Transport Committee inquiry into Road Safety
The full submission will be available once published by the Transport Committee
From : Rod King
Representing: 20’s Plenty For Us – The campaign for 20 mph to become the default speed limit for
residential roads.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Executive Summary
In the UK parents consistently cite the high speeds of vehicles and the volume of traffic as the reasons why
they do not allow their children to walk or cycle to school. At the same time public opinion is recognising that
we are creating roads designed and operated for motorists first, rather than equitably for all users. It is our
vulnerable road users who are “hardest hit” by urban and residential vehicle speeds which are 60% higher
than those in Northern Europe. Whilst our pedestrians account for 21% of all road fatalities in the UK, in the
Netherlands it is just 9.4%. A road fatality in the UK is more likely to be a pedestrian than in any of our West
European neighbours.
For an equitable use of our roads and streets as shared public spaces it is imperative that we create a safe
environment that recognises the vulnerability of pedestrians and cyclists.
There is clear evidence that the public is very much in favour of a 20 mph speed limit on residential roads.
Portsmouth is the first city to implement such a scheme on an authority wide basis. In doing so it initiated a
“community-wide” debate linking road safety to restraint and equitable use of its roads.
If we are to move to a society that is less dependent upon the motor car (and its inevitable use of oil for
energy) then it is imperative that we maximise the opportunity for people to walk or cycle instead. In reality this
will not happen unless a major shift road safety is made in support of vulnerable road users. 20’s Plenty For
Us believe that the following should be key factors in that initiative :-
• 20 mph as the default speed limit for all residential roads.
• Implementation of “strict liability” in road traffic injury cases.
• Traffic authorities to embrace the use of cycling and walking in day to day operations.
• Traffic Authorities to design-in direct and safe cycle and walking facilities on all new road schemes.
• Random and covert use of speed checks for enforcement of 20 mph speed limits
• Driving bans should not be reduced by consideration of offenders use ofcar for employment
Together with public debate, these reforms will bring the UK into line with best practice in Europe and provide
the foundation for a society whereby road safety will be increased for all rather than only those who drive cars.
Everyone should have the freedom to choose a method if transport without fear that the road laws or use of
roads put them at greater risk because of their vulnerability.
Such a change will considerably enhance the country’s ability to face the transport challenges which are
expected in the next decade. Regardless of the predictions for “peak oil” or “global warming” we need a more
flexible transport policy that enables modal choice and shift without increased danger to those making that shift.

There is evidence of an increasing awareness by the public to such issues. Strong leadership, an honest
recognition of these issues and firm action to change the way we use our roads and streets is now required.

The original PDF can be download here.
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