Motorists told to 'stick with 20mph' and low traffic neighbourhoods despite driver fury

A low traffic neighbourhood

An expert has urged drivers to keep their speeds down to boost road safety

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 04/08/2023

- 11:32

Updated: 04/08/2023

- 11:33

Drivers have been told to abide by speed limits to boost road safety.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ordered a review into low traffic neighbourhoods and criticised 20mph speed limits, in a bid to cut down on “anti-motorist” legislation.

Measures like low traffic neighbourhoods aims to promote active travel by getting people to walk and cycle, with traffic being cut down by restricting access to certain streets.

Some drivers have been vocal in their opposition to the speed limit changes and the growing implementation of low traffic neighbourhoods, but experts say they are vital.

Jonathan Wheeler, Managing Partner at Bolt Burdon Kemp, commented on the plans to monitor and potentially overturn “anti-motorist” schemes.

A 20mph speed limit sign

Wales will make 20mph the default speed for restricted roads


He said: “Pedestrians are vulnerable road users. When they are hit by a car they can sustain life changing injuries or even die.

“Some of the most serious cases we deal with are as a result of car-on-pedestrian accidents in built-up areas. This is where more people are, where children play, where walkers cross the road.”

Data from Transport for London shows that collisions involving vulnerable road users are down 36 per cent since cutting speed limits from 30mph to 20mph in built-up areas.

In the same time period, people suffering serious injuries or dying from accidents has dropped by 25 per cent.

Mr Wheeler pointed to the impact of speed when it comes to accidents on the road, stating that someone is five times more likely to be killed when hit by a car travelling 30mph than at 20mph.

He warned that if local authorities and councils were to put speed limits up again, more injuries and deaths would occur.

Jonathan Wheeler continued, saying: “As lawyers, we see how serious accidents devastate people’s lives.

“None of my clients would want what happened to them happen to anyone else. On their behalf, I say we should stick with 20mph.

“If you’re driving, it may take you a little longer to complete your journey. But you’ll do so more safely."

Wales is set to roll out changes to its speed limits in September, with many restricted roads dropping from 30mph to 20mph to slash accidents and protect vulnerable road users.

It has been announced that the fire service will help enforce the new default speed limits as drivers adapt to the changes.

The service claims it will only be providing road safety advice to those exceeding the speed limit, offering them the chance to watch an “educational video” instead of being fined or prosecuted.


A low traffic neighbourhood sign

Low traffic neighbourhoods are becoming more common around the UK


Other road safety organisations will be out to enforce the changes and ensure all motorists know the new driving rules.

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