The introduction of a 20 mph speed limit in built-up areas in Wales has not been without controversy. So emotive was the move that a no confidence vote in the minister who led the introduction of it, Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters, was brought although was easily defeated.
The main push for the reduction in the speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph is a safety concern and also to encourage more non-motorised transportation in built up areas - particularly for shorter journeys.
A report by Agilsys (highlighted but not commissioned by non-profit group 20s Plenty) looking at the impact one week post implementation found that there had been a 2.9 mph reduction in weighted average median speeds with a journey time increase of 45-63 seconds, however this was measured over only two roads.
The biggest push backs are economic (impact on businesses) and emotional (why a blanket introduction?). It highlights the importance and difference between policy and implementation of that policy.
Recent examples include Oxford's introduction of a Low Traffic Neighbourhood and the city centre's Zero Emission Zone and London's ULEZ. - also brings the question of social licence - something we will explore when we write on place-based impact.
Will the new 20mph limit ultimately hold given the resistance to it? I remember as a child driving up to the Lake District on holiday in my uncle's car. It was a big family holiday. There were 8 of us in the car in total, no one was wearing a seatbelt and three of us were in the boot. You'll be glad to hear that was before the 1983 seat belt law came in. However there was a lot of resistance to the introduction at the time. Now it seems unnatural to be not wearing one.
We have written about air pollution and its health impacts a fair amount. Here is a blog that we wrote specifically about air pollution and passenger vehicles. You can find other air pollution blogs on the site.
Link to blog 👇🏾
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