6:06am 22nd October 2010
20mph Speed Limits Improve Air Quality Where People Live
Many people assume that at lower speeds extra fuel is used and more pollution created. In fact the reverse is true. That’s why “Total 20”, without traffic calming, is supported by so many environmental organisations. The facts :-
When 30km/h (18.6 mph) zones were introduced in Germany, car drivers changed gear 12% less often, braked 14% less often and required 12% less fuel.
Choice of gear and driving style, not the number on the speed limit sign, most affect fuel use. DfT guidance states, “Generally, driving more slowly at a steady pace saves fuel and carbon dioxide emissions, unless an unnecessarily low gear is used”.
Most Continental European towns enjoy a 18.6mph limit (30km) which supports road safety and sustainable transport. Stop/go driving is typical in urban areas. Distances drivers could legally and safely go at 30mph is limited by traffic lights, crossings, congestion, junctions and pedestrian and cyclist numbers. 20mph limits cut unnecessary acceleration and braking and improve traffic flow.
A report from Belgium concluded "It is unlikely that imposing strict speed limits in urban areas has a significant influence on emissions of NOx or CO2."
More facts and references are the attached briefing sheet in pdf
20s Plenty for York www.20splentyforyork.org.uk, (a local group of www.20splentyforus.org.uk) are vigorously campaigning in York, asking residents to support the Local Transport Plan 3 public consultation “Time for 20mph speed limits?”. Residents have until 12 November to sign up to supporting 20mph limits via firstname.lastname@example.org or to answer the questionnaire in Your City Magazine.
The 20s Plenty for York Campaign manager is Anna Semlyen. She has collected over 400 votes in the last 10 days for 20mph limits in York in order to reduce the risks to pedestrians by 95%, improve air quality, increase cycling and walking and raise our quality of life.
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