20mph speed limit slows down accident rate

Speed camera on Derby Road in Annesley.
Speed camera on Derby Road in Annesley.

Average speeds are down, more people are choosing to walk and cycle and there are fewer road injuries, a year after the city’s first 20mph speed limit area was introduced in Sherwood.

Surveys of the scheme show there has been a 5.2 per cent decrease in average speeds to 21.1mph from 22.3. The reduction in high speeds in the area is also positive, with 85 per cent of drivers recorded as travelling at or below 27.9mph – a high speed reduction of 11.5 per cent.

On the Sherwood roads that are now part of the 20mph scheme, there have been on average 9.4 casualties per year in the five years before the speed restrictions were introduced. In the 12 months following the introduction of the 20mph speed limit, casualties have reduced to eight; all of them were slight injuries only.

Surveys were also taken before and after the introduction of the 20mph speed limit to see how many people chose to walk or cycle as their preferred means of transport. The 20mph area has seen a 17.5 per cent increase across the area.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Transportation and Planning at Nottingham City Council, said: “The data gathered around the Sherwood 20mph implementation is very encouraging. We have seen people cutting their speed and the number of people being injured in traffic accidents has fallen.

“It is also good to see that people have changed their transport preferences considerably with a large increase in the numbers of people choosing to walk or cycle in the area. This may be because they feel safer on the roads. Sherwood is the first of the 20mph areas to reach its first birthday and these results will support our proposals to continue to roll out 20mph speed restrictions in other residential areas of the city, following consultation in each area.”

Eighteen percent of injuries to 6-17 year olds are caused by transport, and the introduction of 20mph speed schemes supports the City Council’s public health agenda for reducing road injuries. The Reducing Avoidable Injuries in Children and Young People strategy, approved in June this year, includes a focus on reducing the number of accidents suffered on city roads by children and young people.

The Council will monitor progress in other 20mph speed limit areas - currently operational in the Bestwood, Bulwell, Radford and Bramcote Lane areas. Construction is underway in the Lenton area, consultation has been completed in The Meadows, St Ann’s and Mapperley, The Dales and Bilborough areas whilst consultation is currently underway in Wollaton, Clifton and Wilford.

Matthew Easter, East Midlands Regional Director of Sustrans added: “The City Council has also been working alongside partners including Sustrans in the Sherwood ward to provide wider support for people seeking to walk and cycle, including Dr Bike sessions, local events and personal travel advice. The 20mph speed limit results, taken together with other cycling projects in the area, will be encouraging for cyclists.”