Author Topic: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.  (Read 713 times)

National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
on: July 16, 2022, 17:04:59 PM
The Welsh Government are soon to make (next year) 20mph the default national speed limit for urban roads. Where roads were once 30mph, they will become 20mph unless signposted.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-62020427

Billed as a nationwide move towards safety it's come under a lot of fire from drivers. Trial areas are already underway, most of Cardiff is now a 20mph zone and there are other places it's been applied as part of the trial.

Feedback has been mixed, with proponents citing that they love the new speed limit as it reduces noise and increases road safety, etc. Antagonists are saying it leads to increased traffic, will increase pollution and engine wear, unreasonable increase in journey times, etc.

What do you think?

Re: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
Reply #1 on: July 16, 2022, 17:24:09 PM
So I voted For.

I used to be against, in fact vehmently against it if there was a protest I would have attended it.

I felt like it was not going far enough in urban streets. That town and city centres should be pedestrianised with more provision for out of city/town parking and better public transport links into the city. That speed limits on major roads should be raised and that high speed links between major population centres should be increased.

But now... now i'm not so sure I was right in the first place.

The above wants of mine will take billions of tax payers money to make happen, they won't suit all and we'll undoubtedly find some way of cocking it up. It's a pipe dream having cities like centre parcs.

A national 20mph limit on urban roads though... That's bloody doable and comes with so many benefits that pedestrianising a place does not.

  • It doesn't leave mobility impaired people at a disadvantage.
  • It increases pedestrian safety due to slower moving traffic.
  • Average speed of traffic during rush hour in most cities is <18 mph*.
  • It lures cyclists who would use pavements illegally and dangerously onto the roads as the traffic is moving at a pace they could actually outpace.
  • It essentially turns every single 30mph road into cycling infrastructure. There's no need for segregated lanes if all traffic is doing 20mph.

Crucially and I think this might be one of the justifications for the Welsh Gov opting for 20mph. Every single car with a Euro NCAP 5* rating since 2019 and a great many who are not 5* from before 2019 have Autonomous Emergency Braking systems. These systems can completely negate an impact at speeds between 15-25mph. No more run over pedestrians in urban environments. Given ~500 pedestrians are killed per year on roads in the UK, this could make a difference even if driving ability doesn't improve.

Essentially, if you need the flexibility of a high speed motorised vehicle you can still use one, there's a drop in the speed limit by 10mph but you can still drive there.

If you don't and just need to get somewhere fast, you can cycle, scoot, whatever, your way across the city/town (speed limits don't apply to pedal cycles - this is also being used in the news to fuel anti-cycling sentiment currently).

Then there is the thing i've seen about "this is all a ploy to get us to use bikes and public transport!" true, it could be, but why is this a bad thing? I don't get it.

*In fact I checked my commute into Cardiff (my route into cardiff covers areas that aren't restricted to 20mph in the trial yet) the other week, I averaged 9mph. Fastest day was 12mph.

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Re: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
Reply #2 on: July 17, 2022, 07:05:04 AM
It depends what is being considered as 'urban roads'. Heavily pedestrianised town centres, sure, go nuts. Major thoroughfares and roads that don't have extensively used footpaths, crossings, traffic lights and other traffic calming measures, hell no. Keep things moving.

Also, arguments about using public transport, cycling, etc are the ideas of people that clearly don't have kids and single person lifestyles. It would be impossible for me to gether the family for a lovely jaunt into town on our bikes to go shopping.
Last Edit: July 17, 2022, 07:07:15 AM by Clock'd 0Ne #187;

Re: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
Reply #3 on: July 17, 2022, 19:10:03 PM
It depends what is being considered as 'urban roads'. Heavily pedestrianised town centres, sure, go nuts. Major thoroughfares and roads that don't have extensively used footpaths, crossings, traffic lights and other traffic calming measures, hell no. Keep things moving.

Also, arguments about using public transport, cycling, etc are the ideas of people that clearly don't have kids and single person lifestyles. It would be impossible for me to gether the family for a lovely jaunt into town on our bikes to go shopping.

Fair concerns. I'm not sure myself but so far in Cardiff it's any road that would have been considered 30, is now 20... with a few areas where they've placed 30 signs to keep the speed limit up. Essentially lampposts on a street without signage now equals 20mph not 30mph.

Why is cycling or using public transport impossible with a family? People travel with entire families on bikes all the time now and as a kid we used to ride the bus and train to go everywhere as we only had one car and my dad worked away.

That said, the major benefit of 20mph roads being that they don't restrict methods of transport in the same way pedestrianisation would and 20mph roads don't restrict road widths for large vehicles for example like dedicated cycling infrastructure can do.

If you needed the flexibility of a car, you can still drive it with all the family on board, tow a caravan if you like and once you're out of the urban area, you're back to main roads and high speeds to get to your destination until the last few miles.

If you don't, well you no longer need dedicated infrastructure for your method of transport any more as you now have considerably friendlier roads to ride on/walk on/scoot on/skate on/whatever on.

I don't know I may live to regret my "for", but I've been thinking a while about it (replied to some of the gov consultation negatively about it before) and I'm kinda optimistic that actually this is no bad thing. With the uptake of EVs, legalisation of LEMs, etc and cheaper more accessible "last mile" transport solutions turning our urban areas into the equiv of bruge, copenhagen or amsterdam kinda appeals to me.

Re: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
Reply #4 on: July 17, 2022, 20:30:09 PM
Ignoring the pollution aspect, as they're pushing for the death of petrol and diesel cars anyway, I think it's a good idea.
I doubt they'll make main roads 20 but side roads and residential streets I think 20s enough.
Ever since passing my test I don't think I've done more than 25 on residential streets.
Bike licence teaches you way more about hazard perception than the car test does, or at least did 20 year back when I did mine.

What speed do EVs stop making that choir of the dead noise?

Re: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
Reply #5 on: July 18, 2022, 02:16:00 AM
seams daft to me.... there's a lot of 30 roads which 30+ is perfectly safe

I don't think lowering the limit will make any difference to the mongs who go flying past kids playing out etc.

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Re: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
Reply #6 on: July 18, 2022, 10:33:44 AM
Why is cycling or using public transport impossible with a family? People travel with entire families on bikes all the time now and as a kid we used to ride the bus and train to go everywhere as we only had one car and my dad worked away.

Every accident I have seen recently on my morning nursery runs has been children knocked off bicycles. Not only do I not trust other road users one bit, but until all cars are electric it is not healthy to be cycling along breathing in absolute toxic sh*t constantly, it baffles me that keep-fit folk don't seem to mind this. IMO cycling British roads is asking to become a statistic, but aside from my views on that, my eldest son is autistic anyway so he cannot cycle and even if he could would not have any danger awareness or be able to be allowed to do so. We strap him into our car seat with an additional harness so he can't climb out. Then factor in trying to squeeze shopping for a family of four in. That's before you've even considered pushchairs and prams, where do they fit in? It's just never, ever going to happen. Even if it could because I had older kids, I would always choose the safety and comfort of a car for my family over this impractical nonsense. I unapologetically make full use of disabled bays and park as close to the shops as I can, because I am entitiled to for my son and the risks to him, but even if he wasn't autistic I would still be choosing to park in the safest, closest, biggest spaces. Family concerns always trump anything else.

The train is a little more practical, but you still could only use it for days out and not your day to day living as a family. It currently costs me pennies to run my EV though, so there is no reason for me to entertain the idea of paying to go by train either.

What speed do EVs stop making that choir of the dead noise?

I have the fake noise thing disabled on my Leaf. I prefer to swear at idiots not paying attention  :lol:
Last Edit: July 18, 2022, 10:40:07 AM by Clock'd 0Ne #187;

Re: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
Reply #7 on: July 18, 2022, 17:22:21 PM
I don't understand why they don't make everyone retest every 10 years

it would do more for driving standards/road safety than everything else they're doing put together

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Re: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
Reply #8 on: July 18, 2022, 17:51:58 PM
Against, mission creep being a concern not mentioned on the thread so far.

I've seen signs with "new traffic layout for COVID" for christ sake  :lol: A blanket limit of 20mph is just taking the piss, they already have advisory ones outside schools etc so the framework is already there for it when it's sensible.

Agree with Knighty that re-testing would do more for road safety, perhaps not even a full test, hell even some basic road competency exercises would help many!


Sign of the times I guess, just a constant war on the motorist ::) Loads of roundabouts around here now have full traffic light systems on them, I don't mind so much if they're temporary lights for when it's busy, but they aren't...  :roll:


seams daft to me.... there's a lot of 30 roads which 30+ is perfectly safe

I don't think lowering the limit will make any difference to the mongs who go flying past kids playing out etc.

The kind of mission creep I'd expect from this 20mph muppetry is even more ridiculous speed humps to justify spending budgets, more egregious policing of the limit because let's face it, on an empty road TONS of people are going to do 25/30 and it's just another way to generate revenue.

Anyway what comes next for the motorist? F'ing caltrops?
Last Edit: July 18, 2022, 18:00:48 PM by matt5cott #187;

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Re: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
Reply #9 on: July 19, 2022, 06:08:14 AM
I don't understand why they don't make everyone retest every 10 years

it would do more for driving standards/road safety than everything else they're doing put together


Speed of course can kill but as you indicate its more to do with the drivers.
People who pass their test can just get lazy and become bad drivers.
The other big issue is, like here where you got Taxi drivers. People who have migrated to the country who are allowed to just transfer their license over. How they got that god knows but because they need to re-qualify for things like being a doctor or something else that requires that countries certification they may be smart but they CANT drive yet they have jobs driving people.
Taxi's are just the worst here in Sydney.


Bus drivers I think after a period of time just get angry people and think because they are in a bus everyone will just get out of their way.


Old people either just get too old and drive badly or think they are privileged types and everyone should get out their way.

Re: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
Reply #10 on: July 19, 2022, 21:52:39 PM
I think a lot of people are just mongs... they don't realise how sh*t they are, and/or they're think they're great drivers because they're too sh*t to realise they're sh*t


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Re: National 20mph limit on urban (30mph) roads.
Reply #11 on: July 20, 2022, 03:02:06 AM
I think a lot of people are just mongs... they don't realise how sh*t they are, and/or they're think they're great drivers because they're too sh*t to realise they're sh*t


New Zealand has a high unique problem of people just getting out their cars roadside without looking. You will encounter it nearly every day.

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