The Green Party will put in a motion to the next council meeting asking for a city-wide twenty mile per hour speed limit on residential roads. The motion is in support of the Twenty’s Plenty for Sheffield campaign, part of a national campaign to make roads safer for pedestrians and other road users.
Councillor Jillian Creasy said: “A common concern of many local residents is the speed that traffic goes on residential roads. Children are less aware of the dangers of traffic and are most at risk from speeding traffic. Adults can’t cross the road to get to local shops or services and are put off from cycling or walking because they don’t feel safe, which is a shame because it is their road too.” The motion follows a city wide 20mph limit in Portsmouth that has been found to reduce speeds on roads with an average speed of over 24mph by seven miles an hour, in just the first year of operation. The scheme would not use speed bumps or narrower zones, instead using signs that would apply the limit to every residential road in the city. Currently around 300 pedestrians are injured or killed on Sheffield’s roads each year. CounCreasy added, “We recognise there might be some concerns over the scheme, but it is supported by the RAC and AA, and nearly three-quarters of drivers asked in a national survey. Where the scheme has been in place, petrol consumption has dropped, with just a minute added to a 15 minute journey. Given accident rates might be cut by over two-thirds, we think it is well worth it.”
MOTION That this Council: (a) notes the “Twenty’s Plenty for Sheffield” campaign that proposes a city-wide 20mph speed limit in residential urban areas, such as has been introduced in Hull and Portsmouth; (b) recognises the importance of reduced speed in reducing the risk for pedestrians and other road users, with around 300 pedestrians injured on Sheffield’s roads every year; (c) notes research from UK and abroad that has shown city-wide urban speed limits around 20mph have: (i) significantly reduced speeds in just the first year of operation; (ii) after several years in operation, reduced urban accident rates by up to two-thirds, with numbers killed and seriously injured reduced by even more; (iii) encouraged walking and cycling, especially for the elderly and younger children; (iv) benefited communities, with residents a quarter more likely to stop and talk on footpaths; (v) increased the journey time of a 15 minute journey by just 1 minute; (vi) reduced vehicle emissions by 12% due to less acceleration and deceleration; and (vii) been supported by 72% of drivers surveyed as part of the British Social Attitudes Survey; (d) welcomes the Government consultation “A Safer Way: Consultation on Making Britain’s Roads the Safest in the World” that will inform road safety strategy beyond 2010 and hopes that it will propose 20mph speed limits in urban residential areas countrywide; (e) believes that the expense of intensive traffic calming measures required in 20mph zones is delaying the implementation of 20mph speed limits that are a priority in over 100 sites across the City; (f) believes that the implementation of a city-wide limit of 20mph on residential roads, combined with a public information campaign and innovate inexpensive traffic calming, would have an immediate beneficial impact on accidents and fatalities in the City; and (g) therefore directs officers to report to the Cabinet on the feasibility of implementing a city-wide 2
0mph limit on all residential roads, excluding major routes as appropriate.