There has long been a case for 20mph speed limits to be rolled out across towns and cities across the United Kingdom, with the Welsh Government recently confirming that Abergavenny (with the exception of the A40), would become a trial area for a town-wide 20mph speed limit.

It’s a decision that is supported by the Road Safety Charity Brake, who invited the Founder and Campaign Director of 20’s Plenty for Us Rod King MBE to comment for Road Safety Week 2021.

Rod said:

“I am delighted to have been asked by Brake to write a blog for their annual Road Safety Week. The 20’s Plenty (and Love 30 in km/h) movement has made huge progress in the last 12 months.

“The Welsh Government is developing its plan to set a national 20mph limit for urban and village roads by 2023. And recently the Scottish Government has pledged to make 20mph the norm in Scottish places by 2025.

“In May, the Spanish Government set a national urban 30km/h limit. And as part of the World Health Organization’s Global Road Safety Week in May of this year the sole focus was 20mph and 30km/h urban limits. All over the world, activists, communities, politicians, road safety professionals and NGOs like Brake, were calling for these life-enhancing and preserving limits. And the UN has also endorsed 20mph limits in its “Decade of Action for Road Safety” Global Plan where it makes the statement:

“In densely populated urban areas, there is strong evidence that even the best road and vehicle design features are unable to adequately guarantee the safety of all road users when speeds are above the known safe level of 30 km/h. For this reason, in urban areas where there is a typical, predictable mix of road users (cars, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians), a maximum speed limit of 30 km/h (20 mph) should be established, unless strong evidence exists to support higher limits.”

Full Article – The case for 20mph | Brake

A 20mph speed limit was introduced in parts of Hereford and in market towns such as Leominster and Ledbury during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Herefordshire Council took the decision to lift these measures in the summer, but did confirm that they would be evaluating each measure with the possibility that some, such as the 20mph speed limits, could be reintroduced at some point in the future.

Cllr John Harrington, Cabinet member for Infrastructure and Transport, said: “In line with the government’s advice that social distancing and other restrictions are no longer mandatory, we will start to return roads and pavements back to their original layout.

“During this period many hospitality outlets have applied for pavement licences which we have been happy to support to allow these local Herefordshire businesses to trade as best as possible. Businesses will be able to continue trading until these licences expire at the end of September, so that they and patrons can enjoy the summer and school holidays.

“After some consideration we have decided to keep the Old Bridge closed to non-pedestrian or cycling traffic (except emergency vehicles, buses and taxis) until the end of September. We have seen significant increases in walking and cycling in this area during the partial closure and I hope businesses who were initially nervous have seen the benefits of slower and less congested streets. The footway widening in Bridge Street will remain in place until 30 September to support the continuing closure of the Old Bridge and street pavement licences.     

“I want to thank everyone for their input over the last few months, I know these measures were not universally popular but I believe this period of restrictions has allowed us to see a different way of using our streets. I am committed to providing the best environment for both continued use of motor vehicles in the centre of Hereford whilst encouraging better walking and cycling routes and better use of our pavements for hospitality outlets.

“We are working towards a masterplan for the City environs and will consult fully with all stakeholders and the public to get the best input for the vision we hopefully all share for our vibrant city and market towns.”