Proposed new 20mph schemes aim to boost cycling in Bristol

Maximum speed limit also hoped to cut accidents

by Kevin Emery   August 25, 2009  

Commuting in Bristol © Jonny Gawler

A maximum speed limit of 20mph has been proposed in two residential areas of Bristol in pilot schemes aimed at encouraging more people to walk and cycle and to cut accidents.

The schemes, which have been drawn up by Bristol City Council’s Cycling City project with Active Bristol, will operate in Eastville, Easton, Ashley, Lawrence Hill, St George West wards, Bedminster, Lawrence Hill, Southville and Windmill Hill. The proposed 20mph speed limit will apply to all residential streets within the pilot areas that are not considered to be a major traffic route.

Councillor Jon Rogers, Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability, said: “The primary aim of these pilot zones is to make walking and cycling in these communities safer and more attractive to more people. Reducing the speed limit to 20mph should also help to reduce the number of road accidents, which is another reason for promoting these schemes.

“We will be monitoring the success of the two pilot areas and listening to comments from local residents and businesses as well as those who regularly pass through these areas before we look at whether they could be extended to other parts of the City.

“We are not expecting the schemes to cause any significant delays to drivers passing through these areas as the nature of the areas chosen is such that the narrowness of the streets and the high level of on-street parking mean that it is neither safe nor suitable for vehicles to travel at more than 20mph.”

Claire Lowman, Active Bristol Manager, said “We know that 67% of the adult population in Bristol don’t currently take enough physical activity to benefit their health. The easiest and most accessible forms of activities are those which can become part of daily routine, such as walking and cycling. Therefore, any measures we can take to make the environment safer and more attractive and safer are welcomed."

The speed signs will be put up on both sides of the street to advise motorists that they are entering the zone, with repeater signs being provided throughout the area to remind them to keep their speeds down.

 

7 user comments

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Wont change a thing, there are a few things that could be done such as stopping cars parking in cycle lanes, stopping cars driving along them (feeder road anyone!?) and making cyclists feel stronger about claiming their space. A speed limit wont change much, cars will hit you at a slightly slower speed, they still wont be aware of cyclists to the level they need to be and that is the main issue.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
25th August 2009 - 19:59

1 Like

Nice choice of *car stopped in the ASL on red* photo for this article

posted by Adam [1 posts]
25th August 2009 - 20:27

1 Like

Jon Burrage wrote:
Wont change a thing,...

would like to disagree with you on this one..but cant, theres a spot up in Cotham/Redland near to where i work and they have the green 20mph signs up already and i dont believe ive seen anyone doing less than 30 (its downhill, and quite a wide road).

saying that though hopefully with enough publicity, enough considerate drivers and plenty of signs it may just work..lets hope so anyhow.

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1092 posts]
25th August 2009 - 21:35

1 Like

Those green signs don't have any weight behind them - they are advisory speed limits, they have them where I live in Bath and they had an effect for a few days until drivers realised that they weren't compulsory limits - then they ignored them. If those new limits in Bristol are compulsory they might have some effect - especially if they are backed up by strong enforcement, probably more of a benefit for pedestrians than cyclists but still a real benefit to the people who live there.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4177 posts]
25th August 2009 - 22:05

1 Like

tony_farrelly wrote:
Those green signs don't have any weight behind them -

someone at work pointed that out to me as well..seems like a waste of my council tax if all they do is make lamposts look pretty Smile

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1092 posts]
26th August 2009 - 13:43

1 Like

Totally agree, seems to be something councils in the west country like - I was telling the CTC's traffic managment guru about them a few months back and he had not heard of anywhere else where they'd tried this approach. Trouble is apparently, if the police say they can't/won't enforce the speed limits a council sets there isn't much they can do.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4177 posts]
26th August 2009 - 14:01

1 Like

Interestingly enough the police dont see speed as a priority in this area (south glos, n-somerset, bristol, bath etc) so the councils have to pay for any work on road safety and speed. The police has its priority set to 'crime' apparantly.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
26th August 2009 - 14:10

1 Like