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Report finds that reducing speed limits to 20mph has virtually no impact on road safety

By Tom Gibson | November 22, 2022


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Research from two universities reveals that the over-the-top speed limits have almost no benefits

Report finds that reducing speed limits to 20mph has virtually no impact on road safety

Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Edinburgh have released a joint report that reveals cutting speed limits on urban roads to 20mph doesn’t improve road safety.

The findings analysed data from before and after the introduction of 20mph limits on 76 roads in the centre of Belfast in 2016.

Comparisons with streets in the surrounding area that kept hold of their 30mph or 40mph speed limit then showed there were ‘no statistically significant differences’ in the amount of crashes, casualties or even average traffic speed.

However, researchers did find that the roads with a 20mph limit did experience a reduction in traffic – whether or not that’s because less cars typically use those roads isn’t clear.

The report also said that speed limits are not simply for "road-safety intervention" but can be a "part of the fundamental reset of the way we choose our life priorities - people before cars."

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