20’s Plenty is a national campaign to reduce speed limits in urban residential areas to 20mph. Many local authorities have done or are starting to do this – Lancashire for example will implement this across the whole county by 2013. We support this campaign for Chesterfield because the benefits are enormous in terms of reduced road casualties, improved public health and a better quality of life for local residents:
Reduced road casualties – the most common cause of death for a 5-14 year old is being a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle. In a 2010 Child Safety Report Chesterfield borough is ranked 47th highest (ie worst) out of 408 boroughs and has a risk level higher than the national average.
Improved public health – the UK’s Public Health Manifesto recommends 20mph limits, to encourage more walking and cycling. In Europe 20mph speed limits are the foundation of cycling and walking policies. In Portsmouth, which implemented 20mph on 94%of its roads in 2008, a survey found over 40% people believed there was a safer environment for walking and cycling as a result.The primary reason for this is to reduce road collisions and especially the resultant human casualties. Vulnerable pedestrians such as the elderly and children particularly benefit from reduced speed limits. Road collisions are currently costing Derbyshire around £100 million per year. 20's Plenty will go a long way to reducing this waste of money at minimal cost.
Transition Chesterfield, together with a local chapter of Living Streets, have obtained support for 20's Plenty from all 8 Community Forums in Chesterfield as well as the Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Pensioners Action Assocation and the Chesterfield Cycle Campaign. On 14 March we have written a letter to Derbyshire County Council (who are responsible for highways in Chesterfield) to urge them to implement 20mph speed limits in residential areas throughout Chesterfield. The letter summarises the evidence in terms of reduction in road casualties and improvements in public health, and contains an analysis of the approximate cost benefits of those reductions in casualties, which far outweigh the capital costs of implementation.
We have also prepared a poster featuring 20 local people who support 20's Plenty. Click here to download and feel free to print this poster and put up in your community hall, school, workplace or home. If you would like to support this campaign we urge you to write to Derbyshire County Council to show your support.
For more information about the campaign please contact Lisa Hopkinson at email@example.com