New Speed Limits Aimed At Encouraging Cycling

Bristol City Council Announces New Road Safety Measures

28.02.2014

Councillors in Bristol have announced plans to increase the number of roads that are affected by 20 mph speed limits.

The local authority wants to roll out the new restrictions in areas to the south of the city.

A draft speed limit order has been issued for roads in Filwood, Knowle, Brislington and Ashton Vale and Bristol City Council believes this could encourage more people to take up cycling.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, there is a 20 per cent chance of somebody suffering a fatal injury if they are struck by a car travelling at 30 mph, but this falls to just 2.5 per cent when the speed is reduced to 20 mph.

"Slower speeds have also been shown to support people to become more active, through increased cycling and walking," the council said in a statement.

An extensive public consultation into the new speed limits was held with residents of the affected areas in the first half of 2013.

Two trial schemes have been running in the south of Bristol since 2010 and these have proven to be a success. In fact, 82 per cent of local residents are in favour of the lower speed limits.

The council revealed that existing 40 mph restrictions on Airport Road, Callington Road, Marmalade Lane, Hartcliffe Way, Hengrove Way and Hengrove Way Roundabout would remain in place.

Debate surrounding the safety of cyclists on UK roads has increased in recent months, as official figures show that although the overall number of fatalities and serious injuries being reported in road collisions has fallen in recent years, there has been a rise in the number of accidents involving cyclists.

Twenty mph limits have been deployed across numerous towns and cities throughout the UK, particularly in areas close to schools.

According to BBC News, local councillors in Coventry are weighing up plans to introduce a blanket 20 mph restriction across the entire city centre.

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Expert Opinion
This is a positive move which not only promotes safe driving, but will also help to encourage more people to swap four wheels for two.

"Due to the high number of road collisions involving cyclists in recent months, there may be some apprehension among the public to consider taking up cycling on the highway. However, a simple step such as a lowering the speed limit will provide a bit more reassurance to those considering travelling by bike.

"There is strong research to show the safety benefits of slower limits and it is positive to see that local communities in Bristol have also embraced the idea, being significantly in favour of it."
Neil Whiteley, Partner