The campaign for 20 mph limits on residential roads in Worthing
No additional speed humps or cameras, just the people of Worthing agreeing to make their town a safer, more pleasant place for everyone.
Latest Campaign Status:
As a result of the campaign, in September 2013, Worthing County Local Committee unanimously agreed to hold a full public consultation on 20 mph limits on residential roads (not distributor roads). In 2014, it is expected that every resident in Worthing will receive a form asking them if they support 20 mph limits.
Research shows that reducing traffic speeds to 20mph is one of the most effective ways of making our roads safer for children, older people, those with disabilities, pedestrians and cyclists.
Worthing has the highest rate of serious injuries to pedestrians and cyclists in the whole of West Sussex
The proposal (from West Sussex County Council) is not a ‘blanket’ limit. Most residential roads are included, and main roads and ‘distributor roads’ likely to be excluded.
View the proposed map
YES! Many Worthing residents have got in touch with the campaign complaining about the speed that some people drive down their roads. Children and adults have been hit or had near misses, pets have been run over, parked cars and property has been damaged and the noise of speeding traffic can disturb sleep.
See here for the list of roads where residents have complained
WSCC estimate the cost would be £350,000. This money would not come from taxes, but from ‘Transport Section 106 funds’. This is money paid by property developers to the council when they are given planning permission for new developments in Worthing. This money is supposed to be used to help minimise the additional traffic caused by new developments. Typically it is used for walking, cycling and road safety projects and cannot be used for public services, such as libraries, education or bus subsidies.
Importantly the scheme offers excellent value for money. Road deaths and injuries in Worthing currently cost over £15 million every year according to the Department for Transport. If the scheme results in just a 3% reduction in these costs it would have paid for itself in one year.
If a pedestrian is hit at 30 mph they are seven times more likely to die than at 20 mph. If they are aged over 60, they have just a 50% chance of survival. By comparison, at 20 mph you have a 99% chance of survival. Not only that but your stopping distance at 30 mph is almost double that of 20 mph, so you are far less likely to be able to avoid a collision in the first place. In addition, recent research has shown that children cannot accurately judge vehicle speeds above 20 mph. 20 mph is the right speed for streets where people and cars mix.
Three reasons why not to just enforce 30 mph
No. Reducing limits to 20 mph results in reduced average speeds. Every one mile per hour reduction results in a six percent reduction in collisions. When Portsmouth introduced 20 mph limits average speeds on higher speed roads dropped by seven miles per hour. However the 30mph limit has been in place since 1935, and changing social norms can take time. The evidence is clear that 20 mph is the right limit for residential streets but in the same way as attitudes to drink-driving, it may take time for some drivers to change their behaviour.
Evidence and research on 20 mph limits
The Police are the experts in law enforcement and they have a duty to enforce all speed limits. The Association of Chief Police Officers has recently revised its guidance on 20 mph limits. Under the new guidelines, motorists caught driving between 24mph and 31mph would be offered a speed awareness course or a fixed penalty notice fine. If drivers were travelling up to 34mph, they could be fined, and if they were speeding at 35mph or more they would be reported to the courts.
Enforcement of 20 mph
Typically 70-80% of the population think that 20 mph speed limits are right for residential roads. Recent YouGov research found majority support for 20mph speed limits in residential streets (65%) and busy shopping areas and busy streets (72%). Over 1,300 people have signed the 20’s Plenty for Worthing petition and most of the schools in Worthing, together with businesses and charities, have written letters of support.
Read here to find out more about the local and national support for 20 mph speed limits.
If you would like to support 20’s Plenty for Worthing, sign the petition here
No! This is a common myth. Driving style is the main factor which affects fuel consumption in built-up areas, not the numbers on the speed limit signs. The Department for Transport states “driving more slowly at a steady pace will always save fuel and carbon dioxide emissions, unless an unnecessarily low gear is used”.
Accelerating only to 20 mph on a residential road, instead of up to 30 mph uses less fuel.
Won’t 20 mph limits increase fuel consumption?
Being involved in a road collision is the most common ‘external’ cause of death for our children. New research has shown that children are unable to accurately judge vehicle speeds above 20 mph, yet every child must learn how to cross roads safely as a pedestrian. If hit at 30 mph, a child is seven times more likely to be killed than at 20 mph.
Read here why it is vital for children