20mph limit for residential areas moves one step closer

16 06 2013


SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt is introducing a Bill to the Assembly which proposes to reduce the speed limit on residential unclassified streets from 30mph to 20 mph. The Bill comes after extensive public consultation as well as engagement with stakeholders, and aims to improve road safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.

 Recent guidance issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommends the introduction of 20mph speed limits as an important way of improving safety and creating environments to encourage and enable active lifestyles.  

Mr McDevitt said;

 “According to research from the Department for Transport in England, if a person is hit by a car travelling at 30mph, they face a one in five chance of being killed – reduce the speed to 20mph, and their chances of being killed are significantly reduced to one in forty.  

“This year we have seen twice as many deaths on our roads if we compare the figure with this time last year, many of whom were pedestrians. I believe that a reduced speed limit would go some way towards reducing the number of fatalities and accidents, and begin to really address this issue.

 “The proposed legislation allows for the Department of Regional Development to issue exemptions for roads which may be unclassified, but that are major thoroughfares, which would allow roads such as Boucher Road in South Belfast to retain 30mph status.”

 The proposed legislation has been welcomed by Sustrans Deputy Director Steven Patterson;

 “Introducing 20mph limits is a positive move for Northern Ireland. Slower speeds will save lives, improve neighbourhoods and boost walking and cycling levels.

 “Slower speeds will make our streets and communities safer for all road users, significantly reducing the number and severity of accidents and encouraging people to spend more time in the places they live, work and socialise.

 “Shifting to 20mph is also a cost-effective solution to achieving a more active, healthy population and reducing the burden on our health system.”



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