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If you are from the media and creating an article on implementing 20 mph or on 20's Plenty For Us, then we hope that this page will give you some of the information that will help.

First a few useful facts :-

History: The 30 mph default urban speed limit dates to 1934 when there were fewer than 2 million motor vehicles. There are over 33m today. 20’s Plenty for Us, the national campaign for a 20 mph default speed limit where people live, was founded in autumn 2007 by Rod King. See

As of October 2011, over 7 million people live in UK authorities who have implemented, or are committed to adopt, a 20 mph default limit in residential areas. These include Portsmouth, Oxford, Bristol, Newcastle, Warrington, Sheffield, York, Middlesbrough, Edinburgh, Liverpool, the county of Lancashire, Hackney and Islington. The concept of making 20mph the default limit for a whole community is termed “Total 20”. 20’s Plenty for Us support over 90 local campaign groups pressing for change in their city, town or village’s road speed.  

Limits not Zones: Zones refer to streets where traffic calming (humps etc) reduce speed.  Limits are without traffic calming. Nothing prevents drivers exceeding 20 mph limits other than responsibility, other limit-conforming drivers and enforcement.  20 mph limits are community led and establishment endorsed.  Strong community support and a focus on community policing help 20 mph limits to be enforced with a "light touch".

Because "zones" are “self-enforcing”, the police generally leave these streets un-enforced.  20 mph “limits” without traffic calming are just as enforceable as 30 mph limits. Hence by wrongly calling 20 mph initiatives without calming "20 mph zones", one may inadvertently get a police response that 20mph limits are not generally enforced. Wherever communities have adopted a Total 20 policy then this has also resulted in the local police assisting with “light touch” enforcement.

“Limits” cost about a fiftieth of “zones”. That means that for the same cost of a zone comprising a single street then you can implement 20 mph limits over 50 streets in a complete community.  Isolated “zones” are effective in reducing speeds within the zone but endorse travelling faster outside the zone. Because they are implemented on a wider area for the same cost, “limits” can be far more effective at reducing overall community speeds and hence casualties.

Benefits of 20 mph Limits: Better safety (22% fewer casualties in Portsmouth by year 2), financial savings, cuts danger by 95% to walkers and cyclists, quieter, better air quality, increases walking and cycling, better health, less congestion, raises property values and a higher footfall increases shop takings.

Popularity:  A British Social Attitudes Survey conducted annually over the last 10 yeas consistently found 75% support 20 mph limits in residential areas, including 72% of drivers (2010 British Social Attitudes Survey – Attitudes to transport  ).

Busting the Myths. With 20 mph limits there are no speed bumps, pollution and congestion are reduced, it can be enforced and journey times are not significantly different. 

And here are some pictures of typical 20 mph speed limited streets in Portsmouth :-

Click on images to enlarge

And here is a picture of a 20 mph speed limit on the main A61 in Thirsk


You may use the pictures, but please attribute them to 20's Plenty For Us.


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