20 mph zones

Many crashes take place within a 2 mile walk to schools. These are the locations where pedestrians, and in particular children, are most at risk. These areas are mostly made up of minor residential streets where there is a need to not only be a functional part of the road network, but also be an area for social engagement. Whether this be children learning to ride bikes, walking to the local shops, exercising dogs or commuting to school or work.

Over the last 40 years the use of these residential streets has changed into something which more resembles a vehicles territory. Having to be wary about where to cross and increasing fears over safety when out walking. In order to address this balance and improve safety throughout the Kingdom, Fife Council has been introducing 20mph zones within these streets.

By reducing speed limits within these areas to 20mph it goes some way to balancing the needs of all users. As vehicle speeds are reduced, people are more confident to walk and cycle within their streets.

Whilst the reduced speeds will decrease the chances of an accident occurring due to increased thinking time and shorter stopping distances, accidents by their very nature are unpredictable and can occur regardless of measures put in place to minimise risk. This is another area where 20mph zones provide huge benefits over the conventional 30mph limits. At 30mph there is a 1 in 5 chance of being killed. At 20mph there is a 1 in 40 chance of being killed.

To ensure that drivers adhere to the reduced speed limits within 20mph zones, there is a need to make changes to the road network to encourage drivers to keep their speeds down. These include changing the road layout to make vehicles have to change direction more regularly (this can be achieved through the use of build outs and islands), reducing forward visibility of drivers, creating speed humps for vehicles to traverse and by installing repeater signing to remind drivers of the reduced limit.

Should you wish for any further information on 20mph zones, please contact the relevant area officer whose details are below.

 

Colin Stirling, Lead Consultant, Traffic Management (North Fife) 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 45 04 44 Contact Colin Stirling online
By Post: Fife Council Bankhead Central Bankhead Park Glenrothes Fife KY7 6GH

Phil Clarke, Lead Consultant, Traffic Management (South Fife) 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 20 98 Contact Phil Clarke online
By Post: Fife Council Bankhead Central Bankhead Park Glenrothes Fife KY7 6GH
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