An authoritative report produced by the University of the West of England and commissioned by Bristol City Council has demonstrated the safety of the city-wide 20mph zone. Greens are demanding that this should put to bed the debate about the impact of such limits.
The report noted “statistically significant reductions in average traffic speeds of 2.7mph across the city of Bristol, following the introduction of 20mph speed limits…a larger reduction than seen in previous evaluations in other cities.”
Employing “a more sophisticated analysis than previous studies of 20mph limits”, including controlling for other factors and using speed data from over 36 million vehicle observations, the report found “a reduction in the number of fatal, serious and slight injuries from road traffic collisions, equating to estimated cost savings of over £15 million per year.”
Green councillor Charlie Bolton - who has campaigned for a number of years both to implement and to retain the limits, said:
“We believe this report was commissioned by the council for its review of 20mph. It clearly shows that 20mph has saved lives in Bristol, cut serious and less serious accidents and saved a lot of money. We all know that it also creates an environment which benefits pedestrians, cyclists, the elderly, those in wheelchairs, those with visual disabilities. It makes more people feel safe to walk or cycle and as such it is good for both health and the environment.”
Leader of the Green group of councillors Eleanor Combley also welcomed 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. The Labour administration seem intent on ignoring this compelling evidence of the benefits for everyone in the city and are still talking up the possibility of rolling 20mph limits back in their newly announced consultation. 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.”
Greens are calling on the mayor to commit to the retention of 20mph across the city.