There are children and pensioners alive now who would otherwise have been killed says UWE team
- 05:00, 13 FEB 2018
Bringing in a blanket 20mph limit across Bristol has cut the speed of traffic, saved lives and should be used as an example for other places in the country.
These are the findings of an in-depth analytical study of the project, which has been going for more almost two-and-a-half years.
Researchers from the Bristol Centre for Public Health and Wellbeing studied tens of millions of individual surveys of vehicle speeds taken across the city since the first 20mph speed limit was brought in more than four years ago.
And the team from the University of the West of England (UWE) also analysed detailed data on crashes, injuries and deaths both before and after the 20mph zones were created in Bristol.
The findings reveal that the average speed of vehicles dropped on 100 roads out of 106 where a 20mph was introduced in the city.
But more crucially, the study estimated that between four and five people every year who would otherwise have been killed are still alive today, because the 20mph was brought in.
The report said that the estimated total number of injuries avoided across the city each year is 4.53 fatal, 11.3 serious injuries and 159.3 slight injuries.
Now, Bristol City Council have announced they will begin a review of 20mph speed limits on Bristol’s roads in Spring to see how effective they are and whether anything can be done better.
Based on the Department for Transport’s formula for calculating the total cost of road traffic casualties – which counts everything from the cost of the emergency response to the cost to the NHS – that reduction in the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on the road has saved the taxpayer a grand total of £15,256,309 every year.
The report acknowledges that the 20mph limits have been controversial – both from drivers who don’t like slowing down on many roads they don’t think need a 20mph limit, and from people who point to the fact that the speed limit is largely unenforced.