Local case studies are being gathered from individuals, community groups and businesses alike who have experienced what it is like to live, work and travel in a 20mph area. Below are some examples of businesses and residents with experience of 20mph:

“It definitely feels that 20 mph has reduced the speed of people driving in Easton. When it came in, if I drove at 20 mph, people drove up close behind me, but it’s not happening so much now as people are more used to it. When people drive more slowly, it’s so much easier with kids. It feels easier to get them across the road – you have a bit more time to walk at a child’s pace, rather than panic stations, and having to run. I am less anxious when cars are going past if we are walking and when they are on their scooters. I feel really positive about 20 mph. It makes the area feel more civilised, there is no acceleration noise and everything feels gentler.”

“It seems to have made a huge difference here. One of the things I have really noticed is that cars are driving more considerately. My cycle route takes me across Dean Lane to the cycle path along the river, and before 20 mph came in cars would overtake me, then I would overtake them and this would continue as they would speed and stop, and speed and stop. That has changed now and it is much safer. Cars are moving a bit slower and are more aware of cyclists and pedestrians. I have seen more considerate driver behaviour, where cars have let me go first even when it is their right of way. It is noticeable difference when you hit Coronation Road which is currently not a 20 mph road.”

“Most of our neighbourhood partnership has been a pilot area for 20 mph. There is overwhelming support for this idea, but some frustration that a few drivers still don’t understand the concept. People say that they and their families want to be able to walk safely and pleasantly around their community when visiting friends or going to the school or shops.”

“My support for 20mph is based on first-hand experience. When my son was 12 years old he was walking home from school, playing with friends, and was accidently pushed off the pavement on the road. Another mother, picking up her child from the primary school nearby, had no chance to stop and she hit him. She had been very aware of the school children walking along the road and fortunately was only driving 20mph. My son suffered a broken leg and head injuries but had the driver been going any faster his injuries would have been much worse, in fact he may not be with us today.”

“The driver was also very shocked and upset by the accident, even though there was nothing that she could have done – we were just all so relieved that she’d been driving responsibly. Since then I’ve been very aware of driving more slowly and following the accident I spent some time volunteering with the road safety charity BRAKE helping to raise awareness with young people.”

“It only takes a moment for an accident to happen but the affects can last forever, for all those involved in an accident, including the driver. Driving at 20mph is only a small change to ask people to make but it’s one that could be life changing. My son and I are delighted that 20mph is being introduced across Bristol and we both urge everyone to give their full support.”

“I’m supportive of the initiative for 20mph in the city: safety of our residents and visitors is absolutely vital.”

“The advantages of the proposal are that it will create a safer city for people to move around in. It’s an important aim to make people feel comfortable in our city. I don’t think there will be any negative impact on the tourism businesses in Bristol.”

“I haven’t heard any complaints from tourists about speeding motorists in the city, but this initiative sends out the positive message to visitors to our city that we are putting people first. I’m a cyclist and a motorist myself and feel that the safer we can get people to behave on our roads, the better.”

“I think it hopefully will affect the mood of the city. I also support George Ferguson’s idea of having the streets given back to the people on Sundays – as long as people can easily access the centre. As a city, we’re saying to our visitors: come here and have a different experience of city life – don’t be intimidated by vehicles. I’m very much in favour of it happening.”

“I have had experience of driving at 20 mph in Bristol. I get a lot of grief from other drivers who think I am doing something wrong.
Why should we stick to it? Because there are dangerous drivers out there. Lots of cars and vans take shortcuts down my road, driving at unbelievable speed on a residential road. I think they could cause serious damage. So that is why I think it is important.”

“I have experienced 20 mph as a cyclist and a driver on St John’s Lane near Victoria Park in Totterdown. I have no problem slowing down for it although some people speed by. As a cyclist, I think the implementation of 20 mph citywide will be a good thing. You can go along my road quite fast so it will be better for us. Most drivers seem to accept it and will slow down – if not to 20 mph, at least to 23 or 24 mph.”

“I think, personally, that it’s a really positive step. Having been a bus driver, and now a cyclist, I think it will help with the road system in the city. It means the stopping distances will be better, and you will be able to react quicker when you’re going a bit slower. You’ll be able to look out for cyclists and children stepping out on to the roads around schools, and be able to make steps to avoid collisions.”

“My fleet mostly drives in the inner city and rarely goes out of it. We’ve already looked at the timings of the delivery schedule to make it all achievable at 20. Our fleet will soon be fitted with tracking devices so we can see if anyone uses excessive speeds.”

“I don’t have concerns about fuel efficiency – safety is always more important than fuel cost, anyway, and I don’t think it will make much difference. Most of our deliveries are scheduled anyway – it’s not as if we are racing around Bristol – and we have advance knowledge of where we are going so we can build in enough time for it.”

“Our drivers all have a CPC – Certificate of Professional Competence – that requires them to know about speed and fuel awareness as part of their job as driving professionals.”

“I hope 20mph will make Bristol a safer place for cyclists, to help support its status as a Cycling City. If we can’t segregate the cyclists on the roads, we have to make them safer.”


Other case studies have also been gathered from other cities in the UK to see how their experiences reflect the reality in Bristol. Portsmouth, Newcastle and other cities are rolling out 20 mph and below are a few examples of other local authorities experiences.

Lancashire County Council piloted 20 mph speed limits in three areas, with the aim to implement a county-wide limit of 20 mph in residential streets and outside schools by the end of 2013. Within this large area, the cities of Blackburn and Blackpool were not included, but are separately considering introducing 20 mph speed limits.


The main aim was to reduce road traffic accidents, particularly child casualties, particularly in areas of high deprivation.

How did they do it?

The scheme was piloted in 2010 in three areas, and the positive results mean that the lower speed limit will come into effect in all residential streets across the county in a four-year phased programme. It is being supported by the council’s communications team and has the funding to continue. There is support from the police particularly because Lancashire is recognized as having the highest child casualty rates in the country.

What happens next?

The roll out is ongoing.

In 2009, following an informal consultation, Oxfordshire County Council introduced 20mph on the majority of its residential roads as well as city centre roads, suburban shopping areas and some parts of more major routes.


The aims were to improve roads safety and to encourage people to walk and cycle more, which it was hoped would lead to reduced congestion and vehicle emissions plus wider health benefits.

How was it implemented?

Initially, the city used simple signage to tell the public about the scheme. The transport budget was cut so they could not implement any further supporting measures through the city.

How did the people of Oxford react?

The bus companies First, Go Ahead and Stagecoach were supportive, particularly as 20mph helps with their own Health and Safety objectives. The Police opposed the scheme as they saw it as something that would stretch their resources, should enforcement be required.

Was it successful?

One year after the speed limit was changed, there was a small reduction in speed in the city, taking the average speed to 21.1mph. However, a further round of monitoring is needed. No surveys were carried out about levels of walking or cycling in the city.

The city of Graz, Austria introduced 30 kph (19 mph) on all residential roads, and 50 kph (31 mph) on priority roads through the city between 1992 and 1994.


To make the roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists and also to improve the air quality and reduce traffic noise in the city.

How did they do it?

The transport team used mainly signs with some police enforcement and a lot of publicity – posters, public relations, boards, banners – to inform Graz’s residents about the new speed limit. The Police also supported the initiative by stopping and warning drivers when it was introduced, and periodically carried out speed checks.

How did the public react?

There was a strong anti-campaign towards the 30 kph limit before it was introduced and opponents called for a referendum. The former vice mayor of Graz, who was in favour of the speed limit, argued that it isn’t easy for people to vote for or against such a measure before they have seen the effects. His solution was to propose a two-year pilot phase. At the end of the two-year pilot in 1994 a large majority of the population voted in favour of retaining the 30 kph speed limit.

How was it enforced?

To remind people to stick to the speed limit, the city used feedback signs in sensitive areas such as outside schools around the city. They were moved around and give drivers feedback so they remember to stay within the speed limit. Evaluation has shown that they can reduce average speeds on those selected roads by 10%.

Was it successful?

After the two-year trial period, the lower speed limit achieved a 12% reduction in collisions with slight injuries and a 24% reduction in collisions with serious injuries. The reductions were most significant at junctions and crossings. Traffic noise was found to have reduced by a measurable amount but the air quality was not significantly changed – some emissions increased whilst others decreased.

Between April 2006 and March 2008, Portsmouth was the first local authority to introduce 20 mph in England using just road signs.


Safety was the main concern. The vision for a 20 mph Portsmouth was to offer the city’s residents a safer and healthier environment, where pedestrians and cyclists would have greater priority, and to encourage streets to become community areas again, rather than traffic corridors.

How did they do it?

The council carried out a full public consultation programme and also worked closely with local primary and secondary schools to tell the city’s residents about the lower speed limit. The scheme was regularly featured in the local press.

How was it enforced?

A small amount of driver awareness training was carried out by the Hampshire Fire and Rescue department, but the speed limit was intended to be supported by Community Speed Watch groups and drivers complying with the speed limit (self-enforcing).

Did it work?

Surveys taken 18 months after the new speed limit had come into effect showed that average speeds had reduced and there was a 21% reduction in crashes and a 22% reduction in casualties. However, there was a slight increase in serious casualty figures after the implementation, but they were not considered statistically significant as the period monitored was such a short time. A longer evaluation period was needed to assess the success of the scheme.