13 December 2013

20mph decision a step forward for road safety

Brighton & Hove has agreed to make changes across the city that will reduce road speeds and improve road safety.

This week the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee decided to go ahead with the next stage to introduce 20mph limits on roads in several areas of the city.

Most of the recommendations to the committee, which were made following extensive consultation, were approved with amendments to two areas (Portland Road and Patcham & Hollingbury) for some roads to either retain existing limits or be removed from the Phase Two 20mph proposals.

Councillor Pete West, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “This was a significant decision for the city, made with the participation of residents who are asking the council to provide safer roads and reduce speed limits.

“Through surveys and through our work as councillors, road safety is consistently one of the most pressing concerns for residents and we want to provide an environment where everyone can travel around safely and with confidence.”

Through introducing more 20mph speed limits where residents would like to see them, the council aims to improve safety and the street environment for all road users, including car drivers.

Despite year on year falls in the number of people being killed and seriously injured on Brighton & Hove’s roads, including the largest ever reduction last year, the city has one of the highest casualty rates per mile of road outside London, with Brighton & Hove the fourth worst. Government figures show Brighton & Hove had 51 casualties per 10,000 residents in 2007, reducing to 42 in 2011 and 35 per 10,000 residents in 2012.*

Phase one of 20mph was introduced in April 2013 in the city centre. Early monitoring from the first six months showed a decrease in traffic speed on 74% on the roads, a significant reduction in the number of collisions, and no fatal collisions in the area since 20mph was introduced.

There has been a 20% decrease in the number of collisions and a 19% decrease in the number of casualties (based on 5 months of 2013 data compared with the three year average for the same 5 months in the previous three years.)

Research shows that a pedestrian is seven times more likely to be killed when hit at 30mph than at 20mph.

Following this week’s decision, the revised proposals will be advertised as speed limit orders for consultation.

* http://road-collisions.dft.gov.uk/indicators/casualties-by-population