20's Plenty for Us 2017 (9th) Conference in Birmingham, 8 March 2017
The annual 20s Plenty For Us conferences bring together road safety officers from local and national govenment, councillors, pubic health professionals, police officers, and members of voluntary groups. Here are some of the highlights from this year's conference.
- Simon Bradbury (Senior Strategy & Planning Manager, Transport for London) talked about 20mph limits in London and the TfL Vision Zero policy. He said the principle is that "no loss of life or serious injury is acceptable or inevitable". TfL had a target of reducing killed or seriously injured casualties by 40%, but having already achieved this, they have increased the target to a 50% reduction. The document Healthy Streets for London was published in February 2017. Road danger reduction will be at the heart of the transport system. They will be continuing with their Safe System approach and will be adding a fourth theme of safer speeds (to their current themes of safer people, safer vehicles and safer roads). All buses will be getting a device to limit their speeds to the limit where they are being driven. The attitude that 20mph is not appropriate on the strategic road network has changed.
- Paul Butcher (Director of Public Health, Calderdale) talked about the roll out of 20mph limits throughout the authority - the average reduction in speed has been 2.2mph but the biggest reductions have been on the faster roads (up to 5.4mph). Casualty figures have reduced by 22% from 153 to 119 over similar time periods. They are continuing to monitor speeds and work on agressive driving.
- Chief Inspector Jared White of Birmingham's Central Motorway Police Group said they support the new 20mph limits in Birmingham, and the limits will be enforced.
- Manpreet Darroch from the WHO talked about the UN's target of halving global road deaths and injuries - 500 children are killed on roads globally per day. This year, for the 4th UN Global Road Safety Week (8 - 14 May), the WHO is working with the UK's 20sPlentyForUs group to construct a toolkit that can be used by community groups around the world to push for slower speeds.
- Rod King MBE, Campaign Director of 20's Plenty for Us, talked about the inequality between the have-cars and the have-nots. Every child who is not allowed to walk or cycle on our roads is a victim of adult bullying and shows a failure of the authorities to act. The WHO is now recommendng that the safe speed on roads with possible conflict between cars and pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users is 30kph (20mph).
Ian Campbell March 2017
Last updated: 24 May 2018