The 20’s Plenty campaign has been launched in Eastbourne!
20’s Plenty for Us is a national ‘not for profit’ organisation with 400 local campaigns around the country.
The campaign aims for 20mph to become the default speed limit on residential and urban streets. This can be done on most streets without the need for any physical calming and on some streets, it may be appropriate to have a higher limit based on the road, vulnerable road users provision, etc. There are many reasons for launching this campaign.
There are 20% fewer casualties in 20mph areas. 20mph without humps is also better for air quality, quieter and friendlier. Slower speed limits help people to increase the amount they walk and cycle and don’t affect journey times significantly. 20mph limits also actually improve traffic flow, with less stopping and starting. In national polls 73% of people support 20’s Plenty.
We are not suggesting every road in Eastbourne should have a 20mph limit, some roads can be exempted. For example, Portsmouth implemented 20 mph limits for 94% of its roads. In Eastbourne, we are campaigning for ESCC to review road usage to determine the most sensible areas to exclude. For example, we wouldn’t want to see main thoroughfares reduced to 20mph as this would be counterproductive, but there are many areas where 20mph would be highly beneficial.
There are several key points that make 20mph limits in residential areas such a great idea.
• Hit at 30mph you are 7 times more likely to die than at 20mph
• 20mph limits can be enforced without humps
• Driving at 30mph rather than 20mph for half a mile “saves” only 30 seconds
• 20mph means reduced danger, noise & air pollution, less stressful driving & parking. It encourages walking & cycling.
• 20mph limits are better for the environment.
• 20mph limits will improve our quality of life, boost tourism and help to conserve our heritage. Everyone, especially the elderly, disabled, children, will benefit.
Already more than half of the largest 40 urban authorities in the UK have a policy of setting 20mph as the default for all their streets.
Safer Streets 20mph Scotland Bill
Recent changes to vehicle specifications applicable from 2022 have ramped up expected returns and effectiveness from the Safer Streets 20mph Scotland Bill being considered by MSPs. Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) have already heard that a national limit is extremely cost-effective. At £10m for 2 years – (only 0.75% of Government transport funds), it pays back in year one. New speed limiting laws make it even more cost beneficial.
In Scotland, a default 20mph is predicted to give a £10 return for every £1 invested with £208m fewer casualties for a £20m spend. Yep, that’s right, for a £20 million-pound investment a saving of £208 million is expected.
Some people think a 20mph limit isn’t enforceable, but new mandatory speed limiters in cars will put an end to that argument.
Rod King MBE, Campaign Director of 20’s Plenty for Us said “Speed limiters being widely used are a total game changer for road safety and quality of life. This will transform compliance levels and make obsolete any previous complaints about speed limits being “ignored” by drivers. However, for a speed limit and limiter to be effective we do need the correct set of speed limits across our community road network and there is overwhelming evidence from WHO, OECD, iRAP and many more that 20mph should be the maximum speed limit where motor vehicles mix with pedestrians and cyclists. Now in anticipation of ISA we should set a national urban/village 20mph default with exceptions decided locally. It will transform the way we share the streets in our communities and provide the required conditions for a healthier and more active nation.
In the meanwhile, 20mph limits will nudge drivers to make better choices regarding speed in residential areas. Even if the average speed is just reduced by a few mph the evidence shows that the benefits can be huge.
20 mph zones are better for the environment. Many people assume that at lower speeds extra fuel is used and more pollution created. In fact, the reverse is true. That’s why “Total 20”, without traffic calming, is supported by so many environmental organisations. When 30km/h (18.6 mph) zones were introduced in Germany, car drivers changed gear 12% less often, braked 14% less often and required 12% less fuel, reducing the environmental impact of driving in residential areas.
Rod King MBE said “The quickest, simplest way to cut road fumes and noise is to limit speeds to 20mph. Wide 20mph limits are proven to help us breathe cleaner air and hear each other better. The majority of UK’s largest urban authorities are already saying 20’s Plenty. It’s time to set this as a national standard. With the recent ClientEarth High Court ruling that the government is not meeting its legal duties on reducing pollution then maintaining dirty thirty limits on community streets cannot be allowed to continue.”
I think this campaign is an important one for Eastbourne, improving air quality and making our streets safer. The indirect benefits are that as we start to feel safer on our roads more people are likely to be encouraged to walk and cycle and it opens up a world of possibilities for children, the elderly and the disabled. Let’s all just slow down a little and make our town a nicer place to live in.
If you want to sign the petition or buy a 20’s Plenty wheelie bin sticker then call in at our community hub in The Labyrinth, Mark Lane. You can also email the campaign at Eastbourne@20splentyforus.org.uk