If we are to ‘build back better’ after COVID-19, one of our key concerns must be to address all aspects of public health; this should include lowering the default speed of motor vehicles driven on our residential roads to reduce the danger to residents and associated pollution; and such a measure should be borough-wide and comprehensive.
This Council Meeting notes that:
- speed limits on Britain’s residential roads are 60 per cent higher than in Europe;
- more than half of all road accident casualties occur on roads with 30mph limits;
- a pedestrian is 7 times more likely to die if they are hit by a vehicle travelling at 30 miles per hour than they are at 20 mph, rising to 10 times more likely if aged 60 or older;
- reducing speed limits on residential roads has been found to reduce air pollution, the incidence of accidents, and the numbers of fatalities and serious injuries that result;
- over 20 million citizens live in local authorities in the UK which have adopted or are adopting a default speed limit of 20mph on residential roads, including five authorities within Greater Manchester;
- the default speed limit of 20mph has been adopted by other local authorities without the need for implementation of physical calming measures; and
- road safety experts from 130 countries adopted the ‘Stockholm Declaration’ recommending 20mph / 30kph as the preferred default speed limit on residential roads in February 2020, and this was endorsed by the UN General Assembly in August 2020.
This Council Meeting recognises that:
- if we are to ‘build back better’ after Covid-19, one of our key concerns must be to address all aspects of public health;
- this should include lowering the default speed of motor vehicles driven on our residential roads to reduce the danger to residents and associated pollution; and
- such a measure should be borough-wide and comprehensive.
This Council Meeting further notes that such proposals are not new, with individual 20mph zone schemes being currently or recently under consultation by this administration, and the establishment of 20mph zones dating back to August 2003 when the then Liberal Democrat administration developed the Stockport Speed Management Strategy, following acceptance of the recommendations of an all-party Scrutiny Policy Development Review by the Regeneration, Housing and Development Services Scrutiny Committee. This included the provision of mandatory 20mph zones in the vicinity of our primary schools and made Stockport one of the first local authorities in the country to introduce such measures.
This Council therefore resolves to:
- establish an all-Group working party to seek to implement a borough-wide 20 mph speed limit on residential roads as soon as possible, including considering how to identify and manage areas where the lower speed limit may not be appropriate, exploring the trialling of average speed cameras and seeking the re-establishment of Community Speedwatch in conjunction with Greater Manchester Police; and ask the Chief Executive to write to Mayor of Greater Manchester, asking him to encourage this approach in the GM boroughs that haven’t already implemented it and to lobby Highways England to reduce speeds on sections of the motorway network to further assist with air quality, as has been done in Birmingham.
Moved by: Cllr Mark Roberts
Seconded by: Cllr Jilly Julian