Motoring: Strong support for 20mph limits outside schools

Most people people think that 20mph speed limit zones should be used outside schools according to the latest poll of nearly 4000 people by the motoring charity IAM.

With 67 per cent backing the move and a further 38 per cent backing should be used on roads with amenities such as parks and shops, the charity says the survey shows strong support for a brake on speed in particular areas.

But only a quarter of those polled would like to see them made the default speed limit in all built-up areas. Forty-three per cent of people would like the road outside their house to have a 20mph speed limit, but opinion is split here as 39 per cent wouldn’t.

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Forty per cent of people think that this speed limit is best enforced by speed limit signs, leaving the police to enforce the limit and the public to comply.

Measures to physically slow people down are less popular, with only 20 per cent in favour of safety cameras, and 21 per cent supporting a combination of measures including road humps and cameras.

Respondents felt that enforcing the limit in 20mph zones should be of medium priority compared to other road policing duties.

IAM head of road safety Kevin Delaney said: “The IAM supports the selective use of 20mph speed limits where there is clear evidence that the risk of casualties will be reduced.

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“But blanket 20mph speed limits or limits at inappropriate sites risk widespread disregard by drivers who do not recognise a necessity for them. Consultation with, and buy-in from, local people here is essential.

“Passive enforcement measures, such as speed bumps, are unpopular and active enforcement by police is unrealistic in the current financial climate.

“If lower speed limits are restricted to locations and times where there is an obvious need, responsible drivers, who are the overwhelming majority, will adhere to them without the need for enforcement.”

Advanced motorist Rob Raikes, 66, said: “In Southampton, where there is a city wide 20 mph limit, motorists have found that the average journey time has increased by a very small amount, and that the stress of driving has reduced by quite a large one. Our streets should be for people, not cars.”

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