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Speed Limits: Schools

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what difference has been recorded in the number of casualties which have occurred outside schools after the creation of 20 mph zones outside these schools; what percentage change that figure represents; and what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of 20 mph zones outside schools. (157959)

The Department for Transport does not hold information on how many schools fall within 20 mph zones nor therefore how many casualties have occurred outside schools after the creation of 20 mph zones. Local authorities are responsible for introducing 20 mph speed limits where they deem it appropriate.

No specific assessment has been made of the effectiveness of 20 mph zones outside schools. The Transport Research Laboratory conducted two reviews of 20 mph zones in 1996 and again in 1998. The 1996 review found that 20 mph zones which incorporated traffic calming measures achieved an average 9 mph reduction in vehicle speeds, annual accident frequency fell by 60 per cent. and overall reduction in child accidents of 67 per cent.

The 1998 review looked at wider issues in terms of vehicle speeds and included 20 mph zones and 20 mph limits where there was lesser or no traffic calming. This found reductions in vehicle speeds were minimal when only speed limit signs were used.