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Speed Limits

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 10470, tabled on 30 January 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of making 20mph the default speed limit on urban and restricted roads.

Answered on

7 February 2020

Local traffic authorities are best placed to set local speed limits based on local needs and priorities. The Government has no plans to consider making 20mph the default speed limit on urban and restricted roads in England. Setting national speed limits in Scotland and in Wales are matters for the Scottish and Welsh governments respectively.

In November 2018, the Department published its comprehensive three-year study of the effect of 20 mph limits. The report is available online at:

Some of the key findings from the research include that 20mph limits are supported by most residents and drivers, and that introducing a 20mph limit may reduce traffic speed by around 1 mph. Encouragingly, vehicles travelling at higher speeds before the introduction of the 20mph limit have reduced their speed more than those already travelling at lower speeds. However, there is not enough evidence to conclude that that there has been a significant change in collisions and casualties following the introduction of 20mph limits in residential areas.