Almost 90% of cyclists think traffic is too fast in their area, research shows

Bike for Brake and British Cycling survey finds 7 in 10 people want 20mph local speed limits

by Sarah Barth   March 30, 2013  

20mph zone picture IAM.jpg

It's almost time for the clocks to go forward, and with the anticipated rise in numbers out on bikes as the weather (hopefully) warms up, the charity Brake is appealing to cyclists everywhere to bike for Brake, to raise funds and awareness for road safety.

Brake and British Cycling are joining forces to call for action to make every summer a summer of cycling, through more safe routes and more towns and cities ‘GOing 20'

GO 20 is a coalition of 11 charities and organisations calling for more local authorities to implement 20mph limits across towns, cities and villages; the government to work towards 20mph being the norm in built-up areas; and drivers to pledge to GO 20 around homes, schools and shops.

The call for lower speeds comes as Brake publish a survey of 1000 cyclists, in which that nine in 10 think traffic is too fast on roads in their area and an overwhelming 98% said more should be done to make local streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

Other results of the survey into attitudes towards 20mph urban limits included:

  • 46% would cycle more local journeys
  • 44% would cycle more for leisure or exercise
  • 40% would cycle more to work, given safer local routes
  • 68% say widespread 20mph limits are needed in their area to make cycling and walking safer

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes.

You can support Brake by riding in one of their Bike for Brake rides, at home and abroad.

Last year 16 cycling events were held for Brake raising £13,700.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, said: "As we move into British summertime, more people will be taking to their bikes to commute, exercise, or enjoy the longer days.

"But this survey shows what a long way we have to go before the UK's streets are truly cyclist-friendly. It remains that fast traffic and inadequate safe routes have a major impact on people's ability to choose and enjoy cycling. We believe everyone should be able to cycle or walk in their community or to get to work or school without fear or threat.

"We're calling on drivers to make a difference by slowing down and looking out for cyclists and pedestrians. We're also appealing to more authorities to recognise the huge demand for safe walking and cycling, and enormous benefits of widespread 20mph limits and safe routes, and GO 20."

"We're also appealing to cyclists everywhere to get behind the campaign and bike for Brake this summer. It's a great way to indulge your love of cycling while raising money for a great cause and helping us speak out for everyone's right to cycle and walk without fear or threat."

9 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I can get to 4 big supermarkets, 2 Town centres, leisure centre all using 20mph, quiet roads & off road links. So why is virtually no one in my neighbourhood doing do?

We need more 20mph zones, but councils to join the existing links up into coherent networks with signing & prioritisation.

Safe cycling crossings across major roads between 20mph zones also need to be put in place.

Areas such as residential areas need to targeted with literature showing safe direct routes to places like the shops, Town centres etc.

posted by gazza_d [273 posts]
30th March 2013 - 12:41

3 Likes

Really needs to be an ALL or NOTHING thing in my eyes. Either all villages and town centres get cut to 20 or none, this selective approach does not work up here, there are two roads which have 20's plenty, both are dead ends which lead to no-where anyway, so are totally pointless.

I don't believe the figures about people "saying" they would cycle more if speed limits were reduced either. There are plenty of places to cycle very safely, cycle paths, off road paved routes....etc. But if they are not being used by these people already, I cannot see them bothering, just because the traffic is a little slower Thinking

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
30th March 2013 - 14:08

3 Likes

There is a 20 mph limit close to my house. It has not made any difference, except for the Council to claim it is making roads safer without actually tackling the causes of danger.

posted by Geoffroid [17 posts]
30th March 2013 - 17:38

2 Likes

Councils are adverse to 20mph as they don't want to slow through roads but don't want the cost of the extra signage that each side road would require. Of course much of the through traffic is already at 20mph but that seems to escape their attention!

20's coming. I pretty positive about the situation now as the public seem to have had enough of speed at the expense of everything else and the politicians are starting to realise they will actually gain votes by supporting it.

All we need now of for Clarkson to be forced to ride Lejog for charity and life will be perfect! Big Grin

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
30th March 2013 - 17:43

2 Likes

This 20mph craze is an utter waste of red bricks, paint and metal signs.

I live and work within 20mph zones and since the redesign speeds have increased to 40+ mph. Bromley Council have ticked the road safety box and moved on. No response from them.. Also the police have been directed not to enforce the 20mph speed limit.

I walk to work now - well away from the kerb.

posted by Titivulus [9 posts]
30th March 2013 - 19:51

3 Likes

Great headline, like 90% of Fat people eat too much (like me), pretty obvious really.

Slower speeds helps no doubt, but education and tolerance is the answer, I've had more near missed in 20 zones than 30 zones, we are not hitting the true issue.

posted by mikeprytherch [219 posts]
30th March 2013 - 21:29

3 Likes

The true issue is speed of course.
20mph works as more people obey it. Once 50% are doing 20mph all of us are having to do 20mph.

It's the psychology of equality for all road users that will take longer. The faster your transport the higher your priority has been the unwritten rule for over 60 years now an that will be slow to change.

At least now it's being discussed seriously. As for all the naysayers on 20mph? well let's hear those cheap and easy solutions... Thinking

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
30th March 2013 - 21:46

2 Likes

I hate 20mph areas. The cars are moving too slowly and get in the way. I would prefer 30mph zones where everybody actually sticks to 30mph! Thinking

Municipal Waste's picture

posted by Municipal Waste [199 posts]
31st March 2013 - 14:06

4 Likes

Not to suggest I have a cheap and easy solution, but I'm wary of these zones. 20 zones are fine if everybody sticks to, say, less than 26mph. But when the majority are doing 20, that means I have to take primary, because the passing cars aren't going quickly enough to overtake before turning left. So ok, I take primary.

Then some prick comes up behind me at 37mph (which he was doing previously when it was marked at 30), but I'm no longer on the left of the road.

Goodnight and game over.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3475 posts]
31st March 2013 - 14:53

2 Likes