Advocacy papers

Title: 20mph speed limits for cars in residential areas, by shops and schools

Organisation: The British Academy/Professor Danny Dorling
Date uploaded: 28th January 2014
Date published/launched: January 2014

Professor Danny Dorling’s paper on 20mph limits is one of nine suggested policies for local authorities published by The British Academy in its report titled: “If you could do one thing…nine local actions to reduce health inequalities”.

In the paper professor Dorling argues that introducing 20mph limits where 30mph limits have usually been in place is the most effective thing a local authority can do to reduce health inequalities.

Professor Dorling suggests that introducing 20mph zones would save lives, prevent injuries and reduce health inequalities in the process. He describes it as a low cost measure and a devolved power that can only easily be enacted at the local level.

Professor Dorling goes on to suggest that death is much less likely if a pedestrian is hit by a car travelling at 20mph, than at 30mph or more, and cyclists are far safer if travelling with traffic that does not exceed 20mph.

He also says that lower traffic speeds bring many other benefits: less congestion; less air pollution and CO2 emissions; stronger communities; more walking and cycling; and reduced obesity.

Professor Danny Dorling is Halford Mackinder Professor of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. He is a widely published and highly respected expert with a special interest in differential life expectancy between socio-economic groups.

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