In February 2020 the United Nations endorsed the setting of 20mph (30km/h) maximum speed limits wherever pedestrians, cyclists or other vulnerable road users mix with motor vehicles, except where strong evidence exists that higher speeds are safe. This includes urban and village residential streets.
In the UK the Welsh Government is planning the change of its national urban/village default limit from 30mph to 20mph but in England the Government is merely encouraging local authorities (LAs) to move away from the 30mph national limit and set 20mph on local roads. This is more expensive than a national approach, but 17.5m people in England and Scotland are already living in LAs where they benefit from a 20mph limit on most roads with signed speed limits with minimal new physical calming.

Reducing speed limits to 20mph in residential areas has been proven to reduce road danger significantly for all road users, in particular cyclists and pedestrians, and we would encourage it to be introduced on all residential roads.

After the 2021 Cornwall Council election the CC repeated the offer of providing 20mph limits in those communities that supported them. The 20’s Plenty for Cornwall Campaign contacted every on of the 200 plus town and parish councils asking them to support the campaign and to request a 20mph default limit in towns and villages in the local council area. The number of requests rose from around 7 to 150.

CC agreed to roll out two “trial” areas, “trial” meaning a trial as to the means of rolling out the scheme and testing the model created to determine which roads should be exempted and remain at 30mph. The first two areas were Falmouth/Penryn Network Area and Camelford Network Area. The Falmouth and Penryn scheme was completed in early June. CC have agreed to meet with the Campaign to review the roll out in September, before a report goes to Cabinet in October.