Speed Limits: Road Traffic

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 16 January 2023.

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Photo of Scott Benton Scott Benton Conservative, Blackpool South

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of 20mph zones on levels of traffic congestion.

Photo of Scott Benton Scott Benton Conservative, Blackpool South

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of 20mph zones on the safety of pedestrians.

Photo of Scott Benton Scott Benton Conservative, Blackpool South

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an estimate of the average cost of erecting the signage required for a 20mph zone.

Photo of Scott Benton Scott Benton Conservative, Blackpool South

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made a recent assessment of levels of public support for 20mph zones (a) nationally and (b) in local areas where zones have been created.

Photo of Scott Benton Scott Benton Conservative, Blackpool South

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate his Department has made of the potential impact of the introduction of 20mph zones on the number of road fatalities; and what the evidential basis is for this estimate.

Photo of Scott Benton Scott Benton Conservative, Blackpool South

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the introduction of 20mph zones on the level of CO2 emissions.

Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department has not undertaken any recent assessments on 20mph roads or the impact on road users and has no current plans to do so.

The Department published a comprehensive three-year evaluation of the effect of 20mph signed-only limits on 22 November 2018.

The headline findings were:

  • 20mph limits are supported by the majority of residents and drivers
  • There is insufficient evidence to conclude that that there has been a significant change in collisions and casualties following the introduction of 20mph limits in residential areas.
  • In one city centre case study there has been a significant reduction in collisions and casualties.

Local traffic authorities are responsible for their procurement procedures, and the Department for Transport would not be able to estimate the average cost of erecting signage.

The causes of congestion can be systemic, for example increasing population and urbanisation, or more localised, for example network pinch points, inadequate public transport or road works. It is for traffic authorities to decide what systems to put in place to help them manage their road networks as efficiently as possible.

The Department is fully committed to reducing emissions from road transport. We recently published the Transport Decarbonisation Plan Transport decarbonisation plan - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) which identified policy measures to decarbonise road traffic and all other forms of transport, in order to ensure the transport sector delivers its contribution to upcoming carbon budgets, and put us on a pathway to net zero.

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