New DfT rules to make it easier for councils to introduce 20mph zones

Campaign group 20's Plenty for Us welcomes new measures over signage

by Simon_MacMichael   June 12, 2011  

20 sign.jpg

The Department for Transport (DfT) has given new powers to local authorities to introduce 20mph zones by relaxing requirements for speed limit signage. The move, which follows reports that Liverpool City Council is planning to extend 20mph zones to 70 per cent of the city’s roads, has been welcomed by the campaign group, 20’s Plenty for Us.

Under the new regime, councils will be able to indicate 20mph zones using measures such as repeater signs, painted markings on the road or mini-roundabouts.
The measures are intended to make it easier to incorporate existing, isolated 20mph zones within new, wider ones subject to the same speed limit, as well as making it cheaper to introduce them.

Norman Baker, Under Secretary of State for Transport commented: “I want to end the era of top-down government by providing a radical devolution of power to local authorities and communities. These changes will reduce costs for councils wanting to use 20mph schemes, allowing them to act faster in response to the needs of their local residents while still ensuring that drivers know what speed they should drive at."

Rod King, Founder and Campaign director for 20’s Plenty for Us said: “For some time we have been lobbying central government to ease the technical requirements for signage which was very much designed around earlier, isolated 20mph zones.”

The group is campaigning for 20mph to be made the default speed limit in residential areas without the need for physical traffic-calming measures such as speed bumps.

“This is an excellent example of how community values and aspirations across the country are nudging government to rethink its rules to enable that change to take place,” continued Mr King.

“Our campaign for 20mph speed limits as the default on residential roads has the support of the majority of the electorate,” he claimed, citing the National Centre for Social Research’s British Social Attitudes Survey 2010, which found 71 per cent of respondents in favour of the reduced speed limit.

He continued: “We now have over 5m people living in towns, villages and counties with a Total 20 policy. The number of new communities wishing to implement this quality-of-life enabling policy is rapidly expanding and we expect this number to double by 2012.

Mr King concluded: “20 really is Plenty where people live and these new changes reflect the success and popularity of this move towards a safer and more pleasant street environment for us all.”

4 user comments

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Just a thought on the subject of road safety, but how about a law that makes overtaking illegal unless the vehicle/bike/horse/tractor/lorry/tourist/ect is travelling at less than half the speed limit? Thinking

posted by 37monkey [144 posts]
12th June 2011 - 14:21


I live in Islington, a 20mp/h borough. So far it doesn't actually appear to have slowed anyone down.

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posted by mr-andrew [303 posts]
12th June 2011 - 15:18

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What?! How long before cyclists start to fall foul of riding faster than the speed limit. We have one near where I live and I regularly do 25+ - Just waiting for some officious PC to book me for speeding...


posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
12th June 2011 - 18:47


speeding only applies to a motorized vehicle fitted with a manufacturers fitted spedo ... any "cyclist" found on the road over the speed limit would not be in scope of this law unless they are "subject to a local bylaw" eg in a park ...
bylaws commonly do not apply to the road....

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posted by ashy_2002 [56 posts]
12th June 2011 - 19:58