Road Safety News

Conference will bring together slower speed leaders

Friday 5th April 2013

The 4th Annual 20mph Conference – coordinated by PTRC Education and Research Services, 20’s Plenty for Us, Living Streets and TAG – is using the theme “a slower pace makes a better place”.

The conference is aiming to bring together “leading minds in road safety and cutting edge researchers on implementing slower speeds”. Speakers will discuss the impact slower speeds can have on health, vision and pollution.

Cost effective implementation, maximising driver compliance through co-production marketing, risk and liability issues, and the DfT’s new guidance on 20mph limits will also be examined.

Rod King, campaign director of 20’s Plenty for Us, said: “Many local authorities are implementing wide area 20mph limits for most of their urban and residential roads.

“It is becoming clear that once a local authority fully considers all of its road users and its community needs then the only sensible solution is that 20’s plenty where people live, work, shop, learn, walk and cycle. This conference shows them how best to achieve that objective.”

The conference, to be held at Coventry Transport Museum on 23 May, will be chaired by Phil Moore, senior vice president of TAG (Technical Advisors Group). Norman Baker under-secretary of state for transport, will provide a video presentation.

Click here to download the event flyer.


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Enforce the current limits before jumping in another direction, this is where money should be spent. Just try driving at 30MPH and see how many motorists you annoy. The speeding motorists are the ones to be targeted before reducing the speed again, are they really going to stick to 20MPH, I don't think so!
David Matthews

Agree (0) | Disagree (1)

Must be unique to Somerset then. My driving experience and work-related speed monitoring has been predominantly around Mersyside, Cheshire and North Wales and driver behaviour - good and bad - is pretty universal I've found.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)

Hugh. I appreciate the wisdom of your words but can only say that down here, in Somerset, there most certainly is not a general acceptance of the 30 zones and, therefore, adding 20 zones all over the place would almost certainly induce higher frustration levels and worse driver behavior to go with them.
Nigel Albright

Agree (6) | Disagree (7)

Will Eric Bridgstock be invited to speak at this conference? All the information the organisers have given out suggest they are not interested in discussing evidence of the effect of 20mph, but are simply interested in promoting more of them, whatever the actual effect is. Wouldn't 20’s Plenty for Us and Living Streets rather that Eric did not speak and, as organisers, don't they have the power to select the speakers they want to hear?

It would be refreshing to hear that Eric is invited as a guest speaker, and I'm sure he would make the conference much more interesting for all who attend, no matter who they agree with!
Dave, Slough

Agree (4) | Disagree (6)

Nigel: I think that's too much of a generalisation. I agree that on well-used, strategic urban main roads, tailgating and non-compliance with a 20 limit would be a big problem without traffic-calming and enforcement, but as far as I know, it is not proposed that such roads will become 20s. Away from urban main roads and on to the quieter local access roads, estate roads and terraced streets where 20s are more desirable and likely, at present, the majority of drivers do conform to the existing 30s – although admittedly not enough - and a fair proportion of these will also comply (voluntarily) with any 20s, although probably not as great a proportion. Also, with far less traffic on these quieter roads there will rarely be a situation where a driver feels pressured by a vehicle following too close.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (11) | Disagree (1)

Before they have 20mph limits they first need to make sure that people are conforming to the 30mph ones. I find that if you are doing 30 in a 30 zone almost invariably you will have someone impatiently sitting between your tail lights, or close to it. So there is not a general respect or acceptance of those limits, yet. And until they get that one sorted out then reducing the limit further is only going to cause more frustration and probably more potentially dangerous behavior. It really is incredibly how some people so avidly involved in road safety and possessed with 'good ideas' so often seem blind to realities and really can't see the wood for the trees, as the saying goes.
Nigel Albright

Agree (7) | Disagree (12)

To be fair to the organisers, Eric Bridgstock presented at the 2012 conference - and I'm sure he won't mind me saying that he is strongly against 20mph limits. So it's a little harsh to suggest that they are completely closing their ears to those who do not support their cause.
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety GB newsfeed

Agree (18) | Disagree (1)

So this little talking shop will be full of enthusiasts for this silly regulation, but who has been invited to speak against this daft idea?

Maybe someone might like to go along and remind them that a 20mph limit has been tried before with disasterous results, or that natural speed limits are much, much 'safer' than artificial ones. It does seem rather unlikely that such a thing would happen as it's a bit like Richard Dawkins being invited along to a conference of creationists.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (6) | Disagree (13)

I will ensure they also discuss the effect of 20mph schemes on casualties, which appears to be missing from the agenda.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (9) | Disagree (11)