Bristol's 20mph speed limits saves lives, study finds


The introduction of 20mph speed limits in Bristol has managed to save four lives and avoid eleven serious injuries, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) found the reduced speed limits have led to 'very promising' improvements in road safety. They found average traffic speeds in the city of Bristol were reduced by 2.7mph where the new limit was introduced.


The study estimates that the total number of injuries avoided across the city include four deaths, eleven serious injuries, and one hundred and fifty-nine slight injuries. This has resulted in an annual saving of just over £15m based on a Department for Transport formula.

Dr Paul Pilkington, senior lecturer in public health at UWE Bristol, said: 'The reductions in speeds and road traffic casualties are a very promising finding for the city, and for 20mph speed limits in general.

'It offers a model for other towns and cities across the world, who are seeking to reduce traffic speeds, cut road traffic casualties, and promote community health and wellbeing through road danger reduction.'

The council has now announced it will review the effectiveness of the speed limits in the spring.

'What we need to establish is where 20mph appears to be working and where it may not be as effective, and the statistics from this report give us a good indication of that,' said Cllr Mhairi Threlfall, Bristol City Council’s cabinet member for transport and connectivity.

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