20s Plenty – guest post from Totnes Town Council 17/05/2023

Are you keen to make your city, town or village a safer and more pleasant place to be? Learn more about the 20s Plenty campaign and how you can get involved.

DALC understands that speeding is an important issue for our member councils; road safety and traffic management are common topics raised by communities. We are keen to support councils to have greater influence in resolving local concerns, and recognise that collaboration and information sharing enables councils to explore new approaches.

We’re delighted to feature this guest post from Totnes Town Council in partnership with the 20’s Plenty campaign; read on to learn about the campaign, with details of upcoming webinars, and how you get involved by working with Totnes!

Are you keen to make your city, town or village a safer and more pleasant place to be? Campaigning for 20mph default speed limits is a powerful step in the right direction.

‘20s Plenty for Us’ campaign for a 20mph speed limit to be the norm on residential streets and in town and village centres, unless full consideration of the needs of vulnerable road users allows a higher limit on particular streets.

What are we looking to achieve?

There are many reasons why – here are 4 good ones:

  1. They’re safer: The Department for Transport estimates that a 1mph lower speed in built-up areas reduces road casualties by 6%. Successful 20mph schemes result in 30% fewer casualties.
  2. They’re cleaner and quieter: 20mph reduces tail-pipe emissions by 25% compared with 30mph and are 50% quieter. They also encourage more cycling and walking.
  3. They’re affordable and cost effective: They provide multiple economic, societal and environmental benefits at low cost. Entry signs plus repeaters remind drivers of the speed limit, with no need for physical calming. Even with no additional police enforcement, speeds reduce by up to 6mph on faster roads.
  4. They’re popular: National and local surveys consistently find 70% support in residential streets; such support rises after 20mph limits are introduced. They also rarely affect journey times or bus timetables.

Rather than request that highways authorities implement 20mph zones sporadically across the county, it is much more effective to campaign for counties to change its speed limit policy and make 20mph the default.

Demonstrating widespread local community support for 20mph helps to persuade highways authorities to implement it more widely and cost-effectively. Counties in England, such as Cornwall, Oxfordshire and Lancashire, have agreed 20mph for every settlement, as have counties throughout Wales, and it has been promised by the Scottish Government.  You can find more evidence on the 20s Plenty website.

Are you willing to write to a highways authority to confirm your support for 20mph and to ask them to roll out 20mph more widely?

Keen to know more?

Adrian from the 20s Plenty for Us campaign will be running two webinars for interested Devon town and parish councils on:

Wednesday 21 June 7.30-8.30pm. Register in advance here.

Thursday 28 June 1-2pm. Register in advance here.

Contact the 20s Plenty for Devon campaign to find out how you can get involved. Email or find them on Facebook.

Collaborate with Totnes Town Council

Totnes Town Council would like to work with other Devon councils on this issue; please take a moment to complete this snapshot poll so we can gather your views on how important speed reduction is to your community, with a chance to leave your details for Totnes if you’re interested in collaborating.