20mph limits all round by 2015
A BLANKET 20mph speed limit on all of Bristol’s residential streets will be in place by 2015.
Cabinet councillors last nightTHU voted to spend £2.3 million on introducing the new lower limit in stages.
Bristol will be one of the first cities in the country to bring in the reduced limit on all but the busiest roads. It follows trials in two pilot areas in the south and east of the city, which have been hailed a success.
The combined area of the two trial projects – one covering Bedminster, Southville and Windmill Hill and the other covering St Paul’s, Easton, Eastville, Redfield and St George – included 500 roads and 30,000 households.
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Now that the proposals have been approved, the 14 neighbourhood partnership groups in Bristol will be consulted on appropriate signage for their area.
Discussions will be held with the city’s 14 neighbourhood partnerships with a view to introducing 20mph limits on some main roads around shops, schools and parks where there is currently a 30mph limit.
Dual carriageways and other existing 40mph and 50mph limit roads will not be affected.
The first phase of the new limits will link the two pilot areas with the city centre.
The new limits will then spread outwards into the more central suburbs, and then beyond.
Tim Kent, the council’s cabinet member for transport, introduced a report on the scheme at last night’s meeting.
“From the two pilot areas it’s very clear that the new limit has had a real benefit on cycling, pedestrian usage of the roads, and children playing out more in the streets,” he said.
“We all love our cars but we must be able to accept that things are different – this is about trying to reclaim our streets.
“Walking, cycling shopping and playing out all become easier and happier experiences when traffic is moving at a moderate speed.
“Both our pilots demonstrated popular support and clear community benefits, with happier children playing out more, quieter streets and a more welcoming shopping environment. So it’s got to be a green light for a city-wide proposal.”
Mr Kent pointed out that money to fund the scheme is coming from a Government grant rather than tax payers.
The 20mph speed limit is supported by NHS Bristol, which was instrumental in introducing the 20mph limit to pilot areas.
Hugh Annett, Bristol’s director of public health, said: “The 20mph limit is something that not only improves health and wellbeing, it makes our streets safer and more accessible for those who want to walk, cycle or play.”
Martin McDonnell, secretary of Bristol Cycling Campaign, had written to the council to support the roll-out of a 20mph limit on the city’s residential roads.
“Bristol Cycling Campaign would like to add our support to the proposal to roll out 20mph city-wide.
“The campaign has been pushing for 20mph since it was founded over 20 years ago and it had remained one of our key objectives in order to make this a better city for cycling and in general a better place to live.
“We see 20mph as fundamental in making Bristol a greener, more sustainable and attractive place to live in keeping with our goal for Bristol and the surrounding area to be alive with people on bicycles; where cycling is so easy everyone does it and it is happier, healthier, greener and more civilised.”
The Post asked Bristol's would-be mayors what they thought about plans for 20mph limits. Here's what they had to say:
Marvin Rees, who is the Labour Party’s candidate for mayor, is backing the changes to speed limits.
He said: “I think it is a good idea but the challenge is going to be enforcement. We want streets where our children can go out and play.
“It is about liveability, making Bristol a place where you can walk along the streets. And if it is safer and more friendly for people it would be a really good thing.”
Green candidate Daniella Radice is also backing the changes to the speed limit. She said: “I wholeheartedly support the 20mph speed limit initiative.
“As well as saving lives, the 20mph limit will make our streets a safer place for children to play and encourage communities to use these spaces more freely.
“It will also cut noise pollution and improve the city’s air quality. The policy is common sense and we should have done it years ago.”
Independent candidate George Ferguson said: “We have had speed limits in Bedminster where I live already and they have been a success. When they were first introduced people were really opposed to the idea but they have come to accept them. Not only has it made the place safer, I honestly don’t think it has made it harder to get around. I have not noticed my journeys taking longer since the introduction of the new speed limits.”
Eric Mutch, who is standing as Mr Corrupt Self-serving Lying B’stard, said: “It seems to be a bit of a no-brainer for me. From what I’ve read, the reason it is being brought in is because if you are driving at 30mph you can kill a child but at 20mph you will not kill a child so you are saving a life.
“I don’t drive myself so I don’t know what it feels like to drive a safe speed limit for a residential area but I would have thought if there has been any sort of research that says 30mph would kill a child but at 20mph there would be a better chance of survival, I would go for 20mph. I would back it.”
Respect party mayoral candidate Paulette North said: “I think it’s very simple really, I would support any measures that would reduce injuries and death on our roads.
“Having gone to a speed workshop for speeding I have seen the videos of what the effects would be at 20mph, 30mph, 40mph and 50mph on someone being hit. The videos are absolutely horrific, so if it’s a difference between somebody being hit and injured and dying on our roads and somebody being safe I think I would support a 20mph limit, especially in areas where there is a high density of young families and the elderly as well – the amount of times I have seen elderly people crossing roads and cars whizzing by and I think we all ought to be a bit more responsible.”
The other declared candidates Craig Clarke, Andy Thorne, Spud Murphy and Tim Collins were unavailable for comment.