Is 20mph plenty?
Walsall Council is committed to reducing road casualties across the borough and creating more pleasant neighbourhoods for everyone. As part of this, a number of residential estates were selected to trail 20mph speed limit areas. This followed a change in national guidance, which allowed signed only 20mph speed limit areas to be implemented on residential estates, which are enforceable and covered by a traffic regulation order.
In comparison to this, '20 Zones' are advisory but are intended to be self-enforcing by the use of traffic calming features throughout the zone.
The 20mph speed limit areas were installed across the follow areas:
- Broadway Estate (Sandringham Ave)
- Summer Hayes (The Hayes)
- Pheasey Estate
- Rushall (Barns Lane)
Why have these been implemented?
In 2014, the government recommended that local authorities consider 20mph speed limit zones. This is based on the evidence that 20mph makes roads safer and helps to reduce the number and the severity of collisions.
With the introduction of 20mph speeds throughout Walsall, we expect this to reduce the number of collisions across the borough as well and the severity as pedestrians are less likely to be killed at a much lower speed impact. A pedestrian struck at 20mph has a 97% chance of survival whilst this falls to 80% at 30mph and 50% at 35mph, according to ROSPA. There are three main benefits to the reduced speed on Walsall's roads: Wellbeing, Communities and Safety.
Health and wellbeing
With low speeds, activities such as walking, cycling and outdoor play will become more attractive to the community. This gives a positive impact on health, as well as having an increase in physical activity being introduced into daily routines by replacing the car with walking and cycling for short journeys.
Bringing communities closer
Introducing the 20mph zones will help make more pleasant communities for everyone to enjoy. With the slower speed limits and reduced car use for shorter journeys, the noise pollution will be less and a more people-centered community will be created. Crossing roads will also be made easier, especially for the young children and the elderly, enabling people to use local facilities and encouraging young adults and children to become more active, introducing a greater chance for social interaction throughout communities.
With the increasing interest in cycling, more people are choosing to walk and cycle in and around the borough. 20mph zones help to reduce the speed and number of vehicles, resulting in the streets being safer and reducing the number and the severity of collisions.
Walsall Council implemented four additional 20mph speed limit areas within Walsall:
Before implementing any changes, there are various data checks that were carried out. Walsall Council looked into the number of collisions on the roads, the number of vehicles using the road and the speed drivers are currently doing. At the same time, a consultation with members of the public gauged the community's opinions and interests on the idea of 20mph zones.
Within the 20mph zones, there will be new or updated signs and road markings which include;
- a pair of 20mph speed limit signs, where the 20mph zone starts
- smaller 20mph signs that will be placed at regular intervals within the area as well as 20mph road markings
How will you know if the new 20mph zones are working?
Monitoring will take place to see what affect the new proposed speed limit has on the roads. We will be monitoring the speeds to see if drivers are obeying the new 20mph speed limits, the number of collisions and casualties since the change in speed limit, how many members of the community have taken up walking and cycling instead of using their vehicles for short journeys, as well as people doing it for exercise and hobby interests. We will also be monitoring the before and after attitudes and perception and the public's opinions on journey times when travelling at 20mph.
Contact the Road Safety team.