Survey suggests public support for 20mph limits is ‘holding firm’
More than 70% of adults in Great Britain support the introduction of 20mph speed limits on ‘busy streets’, according to the findings of a survey conducted earlier this year.
72% of the 3,000 respondents to the YouGov survey backed the limit in busy streets, with 21% in opposition.
When asked about the use of 20mph limits on residential roads, 64% of respondents indicated support, compared to 28% who were against the idea.
The results mirror findings from similar online surveys in 2013 and 2015, carried out as part of a study funded by Bristol City Council.
The survey results were analysed by Professor Alan Tapp and Dr Adrian Davis, from the University of the West of England.
Participants - randomly-selected adults living in Great Britain – were asked for their opinions on 20mph limits and about their driving behaviours on 20mph roads.
29% of respondents said they ‘may not stick’ to a newly introduced 20mph limit (3% fewer than in 2013), while 48% indicated they would abide by the limit. The researchers say this suggests an ‘improvement in driver compliance’.
Approximately half of those surveyed agreed 20mph speed limits ‘will be ignored by many drivers’ and as such are of limited benefit - and that 20mph limits will not be effectively policed or enforced.
The results are also said to show a rise in the number of respondents agreeing that 20mph limits will ‘improve quality of life, improve traffic flow, encourage walking and cycling, and reduce congestion’, although no numbers are quoted.
Professor Tapp, an expert in social marketing, said: “20mph limits divide opinion, with some pro-motoring groups criticising their expansion in UK cities.
“These results suggest their opinions are not shared by the public. People are, overall, strongly in favour of 20mph limits on streets where they live, work and play.
“Our wave of surveys over the last five years shows the clear majority support for 20mph limits that we first identified in 2013 still holding steady, and actually a small but significant increase in other supporting attitudes over that time.
“It is also interesting that there is a slight increase in the number of drivers who indicated they will comply with the new limits - this is significant because it remains important that communities are united with both residents and drivers continuing to support slower speeds."
Category: 20mph limits.
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