Proposals for the second area to receive widespread 20mph speed limits in Birmingham are due before the city council’s Cabinet on January 19.
The second initial 20 is Plenty project, covering Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green wards and parts of Hodge Hill, Nechells and South Yardley is one of three initial schemes being developed by the council as part of the effort to improve road safety.
The ‘inner-east’ proposal will cover approximately 90 per cent of roads, with exemptions for main A/B classified roads and main bus routes, except where there are places with a high footfall including local shopping areas and schools.
The area was chosen as one of the first three to trial the reduced speeds on the basis it covers wards which have some of the highest accident rates on residential roads.
Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for a Green, Smart and Sustainable City, said: “We know some people remain to be convinced of the benefits to be gained from 20 is Plenty â€“ that is why we think a series of initial areas, showcasing the advantages, is the best way forward as part of our efforts to make roads safer.
“Put simply, speed kills. We know from other towns and cities that the improvements to safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are significant when speed limits are reduced.
“The project will help inform our roll-out into other areas and it is not a blunt instrument, but one of a many of measures that can make our roads safer for all.
“20 is Plenty is a cost-effective way of improving safety and sends out a clear message that we want to change the culture of road use in Birmingham, particularly in residential areas and local centres.”
If approved by Cabinet, work to implement the 20mph limits at a cost of “£414,000 would start in April 2015 and take around three months to complete. Before work could start there is also a statutory requirement for a further round of formal public consultation on any speed limit changes.
Cllr Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Transport and the Economy, added: “The accident figures show there are many important reasons to introduce ’20 is Plenty’ regulations.
“The non A/B roads that will form a part of this particular scheme were the location for 508 causalities, including 68 deaths or serious injuries between 2011 and 2013. That is roughly one casualty every two days – we’ve got to do something about this and we will.
“Based on findings from other places that have introduced similar schemes, we forecast there would be fewer accidents per year and the related annual costs from injuries, hospital and ambulance services, would also reduce by up to £870,000, meaning the scheme could pay for itself in just six months.
“Importantly, the plans also complement the Birmingham Development Plan and the ‘Birmingham Connected’ transport strategy and will help make the city a safer place to travel in.”
A full business case for the remaining initial area in the city centre will follow in the coming months.
Notes to editors
A mythbusters document addressing some of the frequently-raised concerns about 20mph limits can be found here.
During public consultation staged between June and August 2014, 43 per cent of respondents backed the scheme due before Cabinet on January 19, with 42 per cent against. When looking at responses from those actually living within the second initial area, support went up to 49 per cent, with 35 per cent against.
For more media information please contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621