Drop in number of crashes after new 20mph limit
THE number of crashes has dropped where 20mph speed limits have been imposed in Birmimgham – but most drivers are still driving too fast, it has been revealed.
A report for the council’s transport committee this week revealed the outcome of the latest road safety scheme.
In October 2016 three areas were tested for the pilot project :
The city centre, inside the A4540 Middleway;
Central east : Washwood Heath, Bordesley Green and Small Heath;
Central south: Balsall Heath, Sparkbroook, Moseley and Kings Heath.
A 20mph speed limit was implemented on most of the residential streets in the areas but not the A and B roads forming the main distributor network.
A fourth area – Central southwest, including Edgbaston, Harborne and Selly Oak – is currently being implemented but is yet to be reviewed.
Data for the three pilot areas showed there were fewer incidents and outcomes were significantly better for ‘serious’ collisions. In the city centre there were 17 serious collisions a year on average prior to the 20mph limit, but since then the number has fallen to eight.
In the east the figure has fallen from 16 to nine, and in the south it was down from 13 to eight.
Across the entire city, serious collisions dropped from 149 a year to 99 – a 33 per cent reduction.
The figures compared the threeyear period before the 20mph limits to the first year of the scheme.
Speed was also recorded with results showing on average it dropped by 1.4mph on the 20mph roads – but it still remained above the limit at 26mph.
An immediate improvement had not been expected and the 20mph limits will be a longer-term process that “redefines the relationship which motorists have with residential roads”.
Nevertheless it said the pilot schemes had shown ‘promising signs’ in the first year.
It is hoped the scheme will make residents more confident to walk and cycle in their neighbourhoods and cut down unnecessary car trips, reducing emissions and improving air quality.
The limits are seen as a much more cost-effective step compared to 20mph ‘zones’ which include speed humps that are expensive to install.
Any reduction in serious collisions will reap vast savings for wider public services such as the police and NHS.
Studies estimate a fatality costs the public purse £1.8 million while a serious injury costs £207,000.
The report states: “If people think that their neighbours are positive about the introduction of 20mph speed limits, then it is far more likely they will adopt a positive stance and comply with this.”
> 20mph limits are being introduced