Bristol better at 20mph – what do you think?

What’s the big idea?

20 mph - what do you think?Safety, health and community are the three key benefits of introducing a reduction from 30mph to 20mph on Bristol’s roads.

Lower road speeds mean that walking and cycling are more attractive choices, making us healthier; they also support local communities making crossing the road and using local facilities and businesses easier, and increase opportunities to meet and mix with other people living and working in our neighbourhoods.

And of course, reduced road speeds mean that collisions are less likely, and the injuries, when they do occur, are less serious.

How could it work in practice?

There has already been a successful pilot scheme in areas of South and East Bristol where we trialled 20mph. Results from the pilots showed a drop in average speed, an increase in walking and cycling and no change in journey times and reliability for buses. 82% of those who live in the pilot areas support 20mph.

In July 2012,  the Council gave its approval to bring in a 20mph speed limit in Bristol, meaning that all roads except 40mph, 50mph and dual carriageways will be considered for a 20 mph speed limit.  The speed limit change would be introduced throughout Bristol in six phases. The first phase, which covers central Bristol begins in July 2013. The speed limit applies to all vehicles on the road.

Who’s paying for it?

Funding to cover the £2.3 million it costs to implement the scheme will come from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, awarded to the Council by the Government in 2012.

How would it be enforced?

The 20mph speed limit is the new legal limit. If you drive over the legal limit, you are breaking the law. As with the current 30mph speed limit, it is intended to be self-enforcing with periodic endorsement from the Police.

Vehicle Automated Signs (VAS) will be used to remind drivers of their speeds, and a communications campaign to highlight the lower speed limit and tell people about the benefits will take place as the roll out of each phase begins.

How do I find out more?

You can find out more information on

Update and progress report

This consultation closed on 29th October 2012.  A Progress Update for the 20 mph project has been produced incorporating the feedback from the Neighbourhood Forums, meetings, briefings, survey and displays that were carried out in central Bristol and the wider area from September to December last year. This is not your last chance to voice your views as there will also be a further opportunity to express views during the formal Traffic Regulation Order consultation for Phase 1 later this year.

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346 thoughts on “Bristol better at 20mph – what do you think?

  1. 20 mph is RIDICULOUS.
    Educate pedestrians and cyclists on road safety and dont penalise the majority who drive cars.
    How many school kids did I see running across Bath Road between the traffic this morning?
    How many cyclists jumped red lights or cut between cars this morning?
    Lets educate people about road safety.
    There would be far fewer accidents if peds and cyclists werent putting themselves in danger.

    • I can’t agree with your comment. Yes educate cyclists and pedestrians but don’t forget that you don’t have a right to drive on our roads, you have a licence to drive on our roads. OUR roads not your roads. You drive a ton or more of metal on our roads. You need to be careful of other human beings who are not in 1 ton vehicles. There have been walkers for centuries, there have been cyclists for over a century. Cars are ‘johnnie come latelys’, but some of their drivers appear to think that they now own the roads. We all have to think outside the box and remember who we are. No one is penalising motorists. We just want a better balance on our streets.

    • The ‘majority’ as you call them, who drive cars, drive something that can kill if it hits a pedestrian, a cyclist, or even another car. (I know there have been fatalities involving cyclists hitting pedestrians but they do not compare to the deaths resulting from the impact of a car.) Also, I would think that the ‘majority’ are pedestrians as most people walk somewhere even if after parking the car.

      • No the majority of people on the roads are vehicle drivers, plus cyclists. Pedestrians do not have a right to walk down the road if a pavement is available; that’s common sense. I think having a drivers licence does give a driver a right to drive on the road; that’s what a licence is for! Yes drivers need to take reasonable care, but so do other road users and pedestrians. I don’t think that 20mph on bigger main roads and through routes in urban areas is reasonable. I don’t think that’s a reasonable balance between the needs of motor vehicles to travel and other road users and pedestrians. In urban areas pedestrians have pavements on almost all roads, plus crossings to cross at. Use the pavements, use the crossings, and use some common sense. We’ve managed pretty well over the years with 30mph as the maximum speed in urban areas. I agree that 20mph is suitable for side streets, but not for main roads and through routes.

        • “Pedestrians do not have a right to walk down the road if a pavement is available; that’s common sense”

          To be accurate they do have a right to walk on the road. Only a few types of road are forbidden to pedestrians. The M32 for example.

          Common sense dictates what common sense dictates – and that’s a different question with lots of different answers. The HIghway Code recommends that pedestrians “should” use a pavement where one is available – good common sense in a lot of situations, but not law and not a denial of right. The word “should” is used very specifically in the HIghway Code – as is “must”. “Should” does not mean you “must”.

          There are many situations where walking on the road is made unavoidable (especially in Bristol) where cars and lorries park on the pavement so that baby buggies and shopping cannot be squeezed through. There are other situations where pavements are narrow and very crowded, and where motorists should expect and anticpate some encroachment. Crossing the road is an even more obvious reason for being on the carriageway. 20 mph in Bristol is a recognition of these realities, and an attempt to reduce the harm that can be caused by motor vehicles.

        • I said that pedestrians do not have a right to walk “down the road if a pavement is available”. Obviously pedestrians have a right to cross the road, but there is the code of looking right-left-right first. Pedestrians do not have a right to walk out off the pavement without due care in front of a moving vehicle and then sue the driver! Pedestrians may have a right to walk on the road in some circumstances but they should take care. If pedestrians are walking down roads blocking traffic when a pavement is available or creating a danger to themselves and others then I would expect any police present to intervene.

          Roads these days are primarily for wheeled vehicles (including bicycles), and while pedestrians can walk on a road in some circumstances, vehicles cannot drive on the pavement, so stop being so holier than thou! Parking on pavements is an issue in some streets, but why don’t you knock on people’s doors and tell them there is not enough room in their street for everyone to have a car so they will have to do without theirs!

          We all benefit from vehicles, even those people that don’t drive one. Almost all our goods and services are delivered within urban areas by motor vehicle. Many people that supply the goods and services we need travel to work by car, often because public (privately owned companies) transport is just not adequate. Many children go to school by car; it would be good if that could change but it’s not always practical. Drivers are people too, not monsters, and in my life I have not encountered any great problems with the 30mph speed limit, either as a pedestrian, cyclist or car driver.

          If you want a cast iron guarantee that no cyclists or pedestrians are ever badly injured then slow all traffic, including cyclists, to a walking pace, less than 10mph, or ban all cars (and those cyclists who are dangerous to pedestrians) altogether. As with everything we need a balance, and the reality is that 20mph on main roads and through routes whatever the conditions is too slow and is not a good balance for vehicles to get around cities (some cyclists go faster than 20mph). On main roads and through routes 30mph is a good balance.

        • I think we are using the word “right” in different ways. Let me explain how I am using the word. There is no law to stop a pedestrain being on the highway, with no exceptions bar those I have already mentioned. A public highway is a public space like any other. If we act recklessly while there, we might be sued or tried for the consequences. In fact, that word “should” in the HIghway Code means that there is that possibility.

          However,. we could never be sued or tried simply for beng on the road as a pedestrain, however wide the pavement. There is no law that says “pedestrians must use the pavement.” I think what you are saying is that competent adults have a duty to look out for others when walking on the road, and would be best advised to keep well out of the way of motor vehicles. I would not disagree, but neither would I go from there to saying pedestrains have “no right” to be on the highway.

          The significance of all this, teh reason it is important, is that ALL kinds of inviduals – competent, blind, deaf, aged, infant, infirm, inebriated, unwell and distracted all have a right to be on the road and at some point are likely to be there. Their right is to use the public highway, pavement or not.

          HOwever, ff you want to drive a motor vehcile along the carriageway you must pass a test and apply for a license that can be legally removed or suspended if you don’t drive with a required level of care. Pedestrian and car are not equal. The car needs permission. The pedestrian does not.

          You mght think this is all unfair – but it is how the law is currently arranged. Pedestrains and motorists share the highway, pedestrians as of right, motorists under licence, conditional on good behaviour.

  2. On balance, I have serious reservations about the scheme’s efficacy.

    Primarily, I’m concerned that the scheme is being promoted as “self-policing” – to me that’s a euphemism for no enforcement (lack of Police resources) and, therefore, miscreants will not be held to account. Also, in the majority of “built-up areas” (however you wish to define them) there is not a problem. Tight parking and narrow streets just do not lend themselves to speeding – whether it is a posted limit of 20mph or 30mph. Anyway, speed limits do not deter those who choose to ignore them. I think the majority of drivers are law-abiding and this is just an expensive (Central Government-funded) PR sledgehammer to crack a very small nut. Time will tell!

    What does concern me is that, as yet, we don’t know how BCC will assess those roads where 20mph is considered inappropriate and, therefore, retain their existing limit of 30mph. What will happen to those roads that form the boundary between 2 neighbouring areas that are assessed at different phases of the rollout process? What will be the criteria for determining those roads that will be exempt from the 20mph limit – over and above those that are already exempt, ie existing 30mph dual carriageways and roads with limits greater than 30mph? I hope this comes out during the consultation/evaluation process.

    To a cynic like me, consultation is no more than a process to achieve the result that the Council has already decided. Just look at the farce of the GBBN bus lane leading into the Whitetree roundabout – respondents to the Council’s informal consultation fully highlighted the futility of the idea (by a huge margin) but the Council still went ahead with its implementation. Need I say anymore?

    • I oppose a blanket 20mph limit as proposed because it is too blunt a tool. Speed limits should reflect the circumstances. 20mph entirely appropriate on narrow twisty purely residential streets with parked cars either side, and also for major streets as Whiteladies Rd at 11pm (drunk pedestrians) and Saturday am (sober pedestrians). But Whiteladies Rd at 2am and 6am is wide, good visibility and few parked cars and it is as foolish to enforce 20mph then as it is to have traffic lights running at some roundabouts & junctions at 2am to regulate 1 car every 5min. So make the regulation context-appropriate, and I’ll support it fully. The argument for this is made by examining Kellaway Road – many similar characterisitics to Whiteladies Rd, but not all: it does not have the milling pedestrians late in the evening. The commonest cause of rules being flouted is when they are self-evidently wrong-headed. And this will most frequently apply to the major arterial roads which have substantial parking restrictions because of their vital function during office hours. Out of hours, they are wide, and empty, and early-birds such as me who plan our working days around congestion patterns will chafe against needless restriction designed for a congested street and yet applied when it is empty.

  3. Are our Liberal Democrat councillors determined to destroy Bristol as a commercial and employment centre by making it impossible to travel in and out of our city. This proposal together with the ridiculous artificial traffic jams from the Whitetree Roundabout bus lane will choke the city to death.
    I think Lib Dems hate cars and just don’t get it about running a successful economy, perhaps it is deliberate.

    • Lib Dems, Labour, probably Tories all agree as do all sensible citizens including most motorists that we cannot continue letting an ever increasing number of cars dominate (in the US they virtually obliterate) our towns and cities. Congestion already costs Bristol businesses millions of pounds per annum. Vehicle collisions with each other cost every car owner hundreds of pounds a year in garage costs and insurance. People killed and many many people injured cost millions and even more in lives shattered. (And now homes for disabled people are being closed – forcing many more to give up work and be carers). 20 mph on most roads is a very small price to pay to alleviate these costs and suffering. I wish i could understand the motivation of those who rant and rave against all other road users and all authorities which are acting on our behalf to create a less hazardous, less expensive community.

      • The city’s population is growing and will continue to grow. There is no more space to increase the number of size of roads within the city. So we either accept gridlock, or we nudge people out of their cars. It’s not about being anti-car, it’s about having no other option but to get people out of their cars and on to other modes of transport. The majority of journeys in the city are of less than 2km. My kids can walk that! Unless you’re disabled, there is no excuse to drive that distance.

    • We need perhaps to publicise what has happened in Europe when they have reduced speeds. Things get better. Cities are more pleasant. Commerce increases, traffic jams get less. When they also take traffic out of the centre the cities become islands of cafes and restaurants and shopping streets and markets. They do not get choked to death, they start to breathe again! You only have to go as far a Bath to see how pleasant it is in the centre when you take away the traffic.

  4. I don’t think a 20mph speed limit is unreasonable on some roads in Bristol, but to be honest, I don’t feel strongly about it either way. I do feel strongly about having an improved public transport system – that would make more of a difference to me living in a car-less household. I also think it would be the most positive way of getting people out of their cars. Getting people to take sustainable transport choice is about giving them an effective alternative!

  5. Posted on behalf of Sam Saunders

    Data just published by the Department for Transport (
    include figures for casualties on different kinds of road in Great
    Britain. Between 2005 and 2009 fatalities for roads with a 20 mph
    limit averaged 9 per year (0.9% of all casualties on such roads). The
    most recent figures (for 2011) show a similar and possibly improving
    pattern with just 5 fatalities, representing 0.3% of all casualties on
    20 mph roads.

    For 30 mph roads there were 489 fatalities per year on average (0.69%
    of all casualties) between 2005 and 2009. In 2011 there were 331
    fatalities representing 0.56% of all casualties on those roads. To put
    it simply, 20 mph is less deadly than 30 mph. The evidence is clear.

    For anyone to suggest that 20 mph limits are likely to increase
    fatalities, given these statistics, looks perverse. To deny that 20
    mph limits reduce fatalities would need some extraordinary alternative
    data or some remarkable insight into changes that have not yet taken
    place in the relationship between speed limits and road behaviour.

    To say that using £2.3 million pounds (that cannot now be spent on
    anything else) to more or less guarantee a reduction in road
    fatalities in Bristol over the next decade you have to have much
    stronger reasons than any offered so far.

    My view is that no roads at all should be exempted from the 20 limit,
    other than those already identified as obviously different. Even one
    exception would increase drivers’ uncertainty, and every exception
    would multiply the number of signs required. A wholesale limit would
    be cheap enough to enable a thorough and lasting job to be done with
    all the signs that were put up.

    • “To put it simply, 20 mph is less deadly than 30 mph. The evidence is clear”

      You misunderstand the numbers you quote. For example, imagine two roads, A and B. A is 20MPH and B is 30MPH but otherwise they are identical. 20,000 cars use road A and 10,000 cars use road B. If there there are 1 causualty per 1000 cars then road A will have 2 and B has 1. Your logic now says road B is safer.

      • I have given percentages specifically to take account of the different numbers that might suffer casualites on each type of road. Casualties on 30 mph roads in 2011 were more likely to result in death than casualties on 20 mph roads. Hence my statement that 30 mph casualties are more deadly – they are more likely to result in death (regardless of how many casualties all told).

        You might have noted that in the earlier period the fatal percentage on 20 mph was higher than the percentage on 30 mph roads. With an increase in the number of 20 mph roads the likelihood of death has gone down even faster than the likelihood on 30 mph roads.

        Figures for casualties per million miles travelled on different types of road might be interesting – I will see what I can find.

        • Please see my post below.
          Also check out the KSI’s per billion vehicle kilometres travelled for Portsmouth, where they’ve introduced blanket 20mph limits – makes interesting reading.

    • From your link, the 20mph fatality figures for the eight years 2004 – 2011 are: 4, 6, 15, 8, 11, 7, 5 and 5 respectively, representing a proportion of all casualties of: 0.55%, 0.71%, 1.71%, 0.77%, 0.97%, 0.53%, 0.4% and 0.3% respectively.
      Although the absolute numbers are too small and varied to draw any statistically significant inferences from, the average proportion (0.69%) is greater than the average proportion on 30mph roads (0.66%) and in fact the annual proportion in half of the years was higher than that of 30mph roads.
      What is significant though, is the proportion of KSI’s to total casualties, which is higher than that of 30mph roads for both the 2011 figure (15.24% against 13.53%) as well as the 2004-2011 average (14.17% against 12.95%), in fact being higher than the 30mph average for all but two of the eight years.
      So it’s actually very difficult to see how anyone could conclude, from these figures, that 20mph roads are any safer than 30mph roads.

      • You say that numbers are too small to support a generalisation – but then use tham anyway. I actually think you are wrong about the statistical significance but your analysis of the 8 year sequence is a good challenge. The trend is nowhere near as clear cut as I had claimed. We would also neeed to see what other factors were being brought to bear on the rates as time went by and the number, and types, of road being restricted changed. Thanks for this.

        • Although the annual fatality figures are really too small, the total for the eight years is more likely to be statistically significant. This may be useful for comparison with the equivalent 30mph figure, although you obviously can’t derive any trend from a single figure.
          The KSI figures, being much larger, show no real trend.

  6. having just been injured by a cyclist cycling on the pavement I feel that a great deal more needs to be done to alleiviate that problem and not to hit on motorists the whole time. Some drivers HAVE to drive due to a disability and cannot walk or cycle. Catching a bus is expensive and in my case extremely painful so I have no choice but to drive.

    Driving at 20mph will not stop accidents (I am an Advanced Driver) as it will be much easier to be sidetracked when you see something, easier to lose concentration. There are remarkably few accidents due to driver error. It is the cyclist going through red lights, cycling on the pavement, not wearing a helment or not having lights on. Children haave very little road sense, More needs to be done to educate/train children as to correct street manners in using the pavement and crossing the road. Children will not play in the road any more becasue it simply is not safe for them in other ways.

    I feel this Council is hell bent on curbing drivers and encouraging walking and cycling thus preventing many people from carrying out their business. 30 mph is a proven sensible speed. It is mandatory and controllable. Introducing a 20 mph around schools at certain times, yes, may be ok but to have a cross city level is just not fair on the only section of road users who actually pay to use the facility. Plus, would this actually be mandatory, I think not

    • I find it interesting that people are complaining about cars and car drivers being restricted by the proposed 20mph speed limit: cars dominate the urban landscape and prioritised in its design. It’s time to redress the balance and the 20mph proposal is a step in the right direction.

    • I’m sorry that you were injured and I hope that you reported it to the police so that the incident can, at least, be on record.

      However, it seems in your subsequent tirade that was just a warm up to venting by your spleen on anyone who does not give the motorist absolute freedom to “carry[ing] out their business” – cyclists, children, the council. Everyone else, other than drivers and, presumably, “advanced drivers” like yourself, cause problems on the road, not motorists. (It is very telling that to you fatalities/injuries on the roads are “accidents”.) Every time someone has told me that they are an “advanced driver” I get an image of Jeremy Clarkson in my mind and that is not good.

      It is interesting that it always seems to be members of the paid-up motoring lobby that are injured by cyclists on the pavement (see this forum and the BEP one, for starters). I walk and cycle around the town centre and north, NW & NE of it daily and very seldom ever see anyone cycling on the pavement and have only twice in the last 4 years even seen a near miss with me/another pedestrian. I don’t condone it, as it is potentially dangerous and, at least, intimidating to pedestrians, but I really do not believe that it is the big issue that some make out. I have been more often hit, not fatally, I hasten to add, by mothers with prams.

      For decades now our laws and the whole way our cities landscape has been shaped has been informed by the motoring lobby. It is about time that the selfishness of the individualistically minded motorist fraternity is curbed and that a sense of reality is introduced in the way we plan our cities.

    • Having 3 times in 10 years been knocked off my bike due to driver error (“sorry mate, I didn’t see you” – even thoguh twice it was broad daylight, and the third time presumably my lights and high-viz jacket dazzled him), I have to disagree with your comments above. There are bad cyclists just as there are bad drivers and bad pedestrians. Driving at 20mph will not stop accidents, but it will reduce fatalities and serious injuries.

    • We all pay for roads! Council tax and income tax! VED is so small it could not possibly pay for all the roads. Encouraging walking and cycling is really not the same as saying ‘stop people driving’, so I don’t see how it will prevent people who need to, from driving. It should in fact make it easier, as the roads would be emptier – bikes take up about a sixth of the space of a car.

    • If you do not like the expensive road schemes the Liberal Democrat Council and Councillor Tim Kent in particular contine to promote and waste our money on do not vote for them when the next council election takes place and vote for a party/individuals who will not waste money on road signs and traffic islands/calming measures and those who will concentrate on education and reduction of crime.Too many in Bristol fail to vote or to find out before voting what those they vote for represent

    • As a fellow member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, I urge you to stick closer to the truth when making derogatory pronouncements about other road users. Your wild assertions bring the IAM into disrepute.

  7. Luckily most car drivers are not as intemperate and ill-informed as some of those taking part in this consultation. Technical details and rants against cyclists riding on pavements are not the current issue. There is no doubt that lower speeds are preferable in areas of risk. But regulation is inevitably simplistic and clumsy. Hence any blanket regulation should only be imposed in areas of higher risk such as residential streets (especially as most are virtually car parks) and near schools, shopping centres, railway stations etc. I much agree that the authorities should first enforce current regulations. Speed limits if enforced may have an effect on training the crazy drivers to act in a more adult manner. Those caught speeding should have some form of therapy to rid them of the illusion that they own the road, and the conviction that they alone are sensible and safe. It’s not just a matter of the horrendous numbers killed and seriously injured, the financial cost of road collisions – as reflected in our insurance premiums – is enormous. The operation of all dangerous machinery, lorries, ships, tractors, fork-lifts etc etc is strictly controlled. Now at last we are getting car drivers treated similarly.

    • Those abused or who are threatened with abuse can be expected to be intemperate to their potential abusers.

      Crazy drivers are not the majority who will be affected; it is the majority who are decent drivers that will be unreasonably restricted.

      Insulting those you disagree with saying they should have therapy for their delusions are not a good debating tactic, especially when it can be pointed out that it is the drivers who pay the road fund licence.

      • *Ahem* I think you mean vehicle excise duty, rather than road find licence. The latter doesn’t exist. As has been pointed out many a teime, if cyclists did have to pay VED, it would be £0, as they are zero emission (although technically if your bike was pre-2001, you wuold have to pay the full amount I suppose….) Mind you, I already pay VED on my car, along with my Council Tax and my Income Tax, so one way or another I’m contributing.

  8. The original consultation letter for Easton and St Werburghs was that residential side streets would be 20mph while bigger main roads or through routes would remain at 30mph (such as Stapleton Road). I did not object to that. The goalposts were then moved to having 20mph on all roads within the 20mph zone, but with no further consultation with residents.

    I continue to live in this pilot 20mph zone but I do not agree with 20mph on all roads. 20mph on side roads and back streets, yes, but not on main roads or through routes in the area. Drivers are not all sticking to 20mph on the through roads anyway; it’s not necessary when the road is clear in parts of the day and in the evening and at night. I have to use 2nd gear for 20mph which has to be more inefficient than 3rd gear for 30mph. Lib Dem leader Simon Cook said in a letter to The Post that even if people did not drive at 20mph at least they would stick to 30mph! That shows that the expectation is that people will not obey the new law, so why introduce it on all roads? What’s been so wrong with 30mph for the decades?

    The research documents do not show any effect on accident rates, or evidence of reduced emissions. Let’s get back to the original proposal, 20mph on side streets, 30mph on main roads and through routes. There will be some exceptions, and these should be debated and consulted upon. We need common sense.

    The real reasons for this scheme are apparent in the documents, lifestyle change, social engineering. The Council and some others want people to use their cars less and cycle and walk more. But they don’t or won’t take into account that many people have to use their cars for essential functions in their lives, such as work, shopping, etc. Cycling and walking are not practical for everyone, and public transport is not public, it’s privately owned and run primarily for profit. Public transport needs to be publicly owned and controlled, with subsidy if needs be, to heip people move around and society to function.

    Those behind this scheme think they know best, but they should treat people like adults and make a bigger effort to consult. A citywide referendum with a series of options would be best: 20mph on all roads (except existing dual carriageways and 40mph roads), 20mph on all side streets but not on main roads and through routes, or keep 30mph as the default urban speed limit.

    I bet the majority of people in Bristol do not know about this scheme, or that it may apply to almost all roads in the city. If drivers have to crawl along at 20mph on through routes such as Gloucester Road, Fishponds Road, Muller Road, Wells Road and Bath Road etc. I think there will be objections.

    • I live on what you would describe as a main road and I can assure you that reducing the speed to 20mph would be greatly beneficial and have no real impact on the flow of traffic. It would in fact improve things with a lot of the local parents becoming more confident about allowing their youngsters to walk and cycle to school, thus fewer journeys on the school run being made in a car, so fewer cars on the road.

      As with a lot of main roads ours is predominately residential, speeding cars often prevent people from crossing from one side to another on such roads and in doing so reduce their opportunities for social interaction. This can lead to isolation and mental health problems, the noise of traffic also leads to anxiety as the volume is above that at which we comfortably speak to one another. Being able to move freely on foot and cycle gives greater opportunities for healthy activities and greater social interaction this benefits as all. 20mph isn’t just about reducing accidents it’s about increasing opportunities and creating a pleasant environment for us all to live in. Let’s face it how many of the people on programmes like Relocation, Relocation actually want to live on a fast busy road? Any takers? No didn’t think so, mind you a good few of them want to be able to drive fast down someone else’s and not everyone is able to live on the nice slow quiet road!

      Just for the record, I walk, cycle and occasionally drive, the latter since I passed my test when 17 nearly 30 years ago, I’ve even driven for a living. It horrifies me that we as a nation sat by and let our cities, towns and villages be carved up decade after decade to allow the ‘free flow’ of motorised vehicles and then make such a ridiculous fuss about a simple reduction of speed (or heaven help us on other occasions the construction of a cycle route)!

      As for all the roads you mention above, I’ve driven and cycled along all of them and believe me there’s plenty of times when 20mph would be considered racey! To move along them at 20mph smoothly because there are fewer cars (a speed reduction leading to a greater uptake of walking and cycling) would surely be to the benefit of those who have to drive.

  9. It’s just plain wrong. Our idiot council will make a big fuss about how it makes the roads safer so people will be less inclined to look carefully before stepping out into the road; kids will be told it’s safer to play in the roads; and our cycling population who already cause so many problems by going through red lights and riding on pavements will feel even more justified in making a nuisance of themselves while not contributing anything and being unidentifiable following the accidents they cause. And that’s not to mention the waste of money, the extra pollution, even more street furniture to distract us, etc., etc.

    This is POLITICS, not road safety. The planners should be working towards allowing the traffic to flow, not this stupid King Kanute policy of deliberately causing congestion in the hope that we’ll all abandon our cars – it’s not going to happen, any more than people will respect this limit.

    • I’m curious why you think car drivers “will feel even more justified in making a nuisance of themselves.”? I mean, where’s the justification?

  10. The 20mph speed limit will not solve anything. On built up, congested roads it is unsafe to drive any faster than 20mph and the majority of the law abiding, car using public will use their judgement and drive appropriately given the road/traffic conditions. It is the few ridiculous drivers who won’t do this and will cause accidents. Changing the speed limit won’t make any difference to those people. If the current speed limits, mobile phone usage whilst driving and general road safety were enforced the number of accidents and collisions would be reduced. This is where the money should be spent.
    On another point the council are using this to pretend to do something about the congestion in Bristol when they are ignoring the huge elephant in the room the appalling public transport system in Bristol. Tackle this issue, along with cycling proficiency and we will be much further along to solving the traffic issues in the city. If we had a reliable and cost effective bus and train service more people would be inclined to use it. I can’t afford to use the bus anymore so I walk now – maybe this is the approach they are taking?!?!

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