20 Mph Speed Limits To Be Introduced In Birmingham

Councillors Aim To Make The Roads Safer In England's Second City


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Significant parts of Birmingham city centre will enforce 20 mph speed limits.

Councillors have voted in favour of the mass rollout, despite encountering plenty of opposition.

More than half of residents in affected areas had opposed the plans and there have been calls for the new restrictions to be limited to roads around schools and busy shopping districts.

Concerns have been raised about increased congestion and the overall cost of making the changes.

However, the council recently published a "Mythbusters" article that highlighted some of the key misconceptions surrounding the project.

It reiterated the point that main A and B roads that are not in residential areas or close to schools would retain their existing speed limit, while it also refuted claims that it had ignored the results of a public consultation.

Speaking earlier this month, Councillor James McKay explained why it is so important to improve road safety standards across the second city.

"Research from other places in the UK and overseas shows that 20 mph limits make roads safer, and help to make walking and cycling more attractive options, leading to less traffic congestion, better health, less noise, more social interaction and stronger communities," he commented.

Birmingham City Council used a number of other towns and cities that have already adopted 20 mph limits as examples of how successful such campaigns can be.

In Portsmouth, road traffic casualties have dropped by eight per cent, while Warrington has seen a 25 per cent reduction in vehicle collisions in areas where 20 mph limits have been enforced.

Meanwhile, the introduction of 20 mph restrictions in Bristol has prompted a significant upturn in the number of people walking and cycling.

Last month, Bristol City Council outlined several areas where 20 mph limits would be put in place and the local authority referenced statistics from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents that showed the chances of somebody being fatally injured after being hit by a car at this speed is just 2.5 per cent.

Expert Opinion
Road Traffic Accidents whether it is drivers, passengers or pedestrians account for a large proportion of our clients who have suffered serious injuries. These injuries are often life-changing and leave victims needing care, support and rehabilitation for the rest of their lives.

Any action that cuts accidents should be welcomed and it seems that Birmingham City Council is striving to assure people that roads won’t be affected unnecessarily.

“Although speed restrictions are rarely popular with the public, research has shown that the chances of survival after being hit at 20mph are far greater than at higher speeds and evidence does seem to point to a reduction in incidents.”
Stephen Nye, Partner