Who wouldn't want a 20mph speed limit applied to their street? So why not their neighbours' streets too?

4 December 2015

Twenty's PlentySSGP's recent press release [1], calling again on Shropshire Councillors to heed expert advice after they rejected Highley schoolchildren's pleas for a 20mph speed limit outside their school, elicited a wide-ranging diatribe from a journalist on the Ludlow Advertiser: you can read what appears to be a forlorn attempt to bag one of the vacant presenter slots on the new 'Top Gear' here.

Following a further forthright exchange of views, it was agreed that the Advertiser would print a letter from our spokesperson, Professor John Whitelegg - a world-leading expert in this subject - by way of a right-to-reply:

Dear Editor,

I would be very grateful for the opportunity to reply to the comment piece by Adrian Kibbler in a recent issue of the Advertiser.  Mr Kibbler was critical of the suggestion that all residential roads should have a 20mph speed limit.  The 20mph speed limit idea has been under discussion for many years in this country and is supported by directors of public health, the World Health Organisation and by councils representing over 12 million people in the UK.  Lancashire has a general 20mph speed limit on all residential roads with exceptions for trunk roads.  The choice of 20mph is based on science.  There is a significant increase in the chances of death in a road crash above 20mph.  Below 20mph the chances of a pedestrian surviving a crash are about 95%.  At 30mph the chance of surviving is 45% and at 40mph it is just 5%.  

We all want safer roads and in a town like Ludlow it makes a great deal of sense to choose a speed limit that gives us all the best possible chance of survival if hit by a car.  Why would we want to go along with a 45% chance of survival (30mph) when we could have a survival chance of 95% at 20mph? 

Speed limits are about making our roads safe for everyone, with a special emphasis on the most vulnerable: children, older people and those with disabilities.  They are not part of a cunning plan to remove cars from the roads or prevent anyone going about their normal business by car.   

Yours faithfully, 

John Whitelegg

South Shropshire Green Party


Perhaps it's now time for the Advertiser to take a leaf out of the BBC's book and put Mr. Kibbler out to grass before another angry and ill-judged sideswipe does some real damage...



1. When will Shropshire Council take responsibility for our children's safety?