Bristol: 20mph Speed Limits Rolled Out Across City

20 January 2014, 06:00

20MPH Sign

After a successful trial, Bristol City Council are introducing 20mph speed limits to more roads across Bristol.

The Centre of Bristol, Clifton, Bishopston and Redland will see speed reductions introduced, with further speed limit changes planned to be in place by 2015.

The 10mph decrease comes after trials in the Bedminster and East Bristol areas, which were put in place in 2010, and have been deemed a success by Bristol City Council.

In a statement, the council said:

'20mph speed limits are being rolled out across Bristol to reduce the risk and severity of collisions.  

'The pilot schemes in the south and east showed that reduced speed limits can and do improve pedestrian and cycle safety, reduce the negative impact of anti-social speeding to our communities and encourage people to become more active, through increased cycling and walking.  

'Research in the pilot areas showed that 82 per cent of local residents support their scheme now it is in place.'

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA)  while there is a 20 per cent chance of fatal injury when someone is hit by a car travelling at 30mph, this reduces to just 2.5 per cent if the car is travelling at 20mph.

Head of Avon and Somerset Police's Roads Policing Unit Superintendent Matt Ayres said:

'We have been working in close partnership with Bristol City Council to ensure that, in line with national guidance, the look and feel of the 20mph zones are based on 'designing out speed' so that they help drivers take responsibility for their driving behaviour and accepted speed.

'Communities also have a big role to play. The Community Speed Watch schemes, which our local police teams run in partnership with local authorities, allow communities to take control of their roads and there are plans to extend the number of these schemes in Bristol, which rely on volunteers and local, community engagement.

'There is also a national scheme being developed aimed at educating drivers who are caught speeding in the 20mph zones and we will be implementing a pilot scheme in the Bristol area linked to this. This will involve drivers being given the option to attend a driver awareness course instead of receiving a fine or points on their licence.

'Finally, if data and evidence proves that there is a risk and a threat to the public as a result of speeding in specific areas, there will have to be a tiered response: firstly to look at re-engineering or designing out the ability for a driver to speed; secondly, Community Speed Watch for local people to self-enforce; and finally the mobile safety camera vans will operate either in those pilot areas or the areas which have been identified as high risk and threat.'

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "Bristol City Council's launch of 20mph zones will help road users to stop, think and kill their speed, encouraging all local people who use the roads to have greater respect not only for one another but also their surrounding community.

"Community Speed Watch volunteers carry out fantastic work in making our roads a safer place to be. I hope that many residents across Bristol will be inspired to volunteer for their local Community Speed Watch scheme."

To find out more about the scheme, including which areas are next in line for the speed limit changes, visit