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MPs call for increased 20mph speed limits

The CTC has strongly welcomed calls from an influential group of MPs for the Government to increase the number of 20 mph speed limits, and for road safety targets to be set in the context of the need to promote healthy and sustainable transport.

A report by the Transport Select Committee, Ending the Scandal of Complacency: Road Safety beyond 2010, sets recommendations for improving road safety.

A key recommendation is for “local authorities be given the powers and resources to introduce 20 mph limits much more widely.”

“Making 20 mph limits the norm for most urban streets would not only have huge road safety benefits for everyone,” says Roger Geffen, CTC Campaigns and Policy Manager, “but would also encourage more people to walk and cycle, and allow their children to do so. The evidence also suggests it has strong benefits for local economies and people’s quality of life and, above all, that they are what 75% of the public wants.”

The report urges the Government to ensure that its Road Safety Strategy is integrated with wider objectives, particularly the need to promote sustainable travel. Also included is evidence that some local authorities are unwilling to promote cycling for fear that more cycling would jeopardise their targets to reduce road casualties. CTC provided the Committee with strong evidence that more cycling taking place actually makes cycling safer.

The Committee added: “It is essential that, at both national and local level, casualty reduction targets are seen in the context of promoting sustainable transport,” and recommends that the Government; “ensure that road safety is seen as relevant in other policy areas and that road safety policies do not have unintended consequences on other important objectives, such as improving public health by encouraging walking, cycling and play.”

The CTC believes that fear of traffic is the greatest barrier to more people taking up cycling and a key part of any future road safety strategy should be reducing this fear, by better training, road law enforcement and reducing traffic speeds.

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