Want to drive to work at 30km/h?

2013-04-02 13:27

CAMBRIDGE, England - Julian Huppert, MP for this university and cathedral city, has been named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month by road safety charity Brake for campaigning for a 20mph (32km/h) speed limits across the UK.

The current UK general suburban limit is 30mph (50km/h).

The GO20 coalition, launched by Brake in 2012, calls for a 32km/h limits across built-up areas. The general South African suburban limit is 60km/h so the time needed for your commute would roughly double.


In 2006, as leader of the Liberal Democrats in Cambridgeshire County (provincial) Council, Huppert demanded the council reconsider its unfavourable position on a 32km/h limit, in light of Portsmouth's decision to implement such.

After three years of campaigning, the council agreed to test 32km/h in small areas - such as Cambridge city centre. On March 15 2013 Cambridge council announced almost all roads in the city centre, including several main residential and shopping roads, would gear down to 32km/h from January 2014 to be fully implemented by 2015.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, said: "Julian's tireless campaign to make walking and cycling safer through 32km/h limits, both in his constituency and nationally, will have a big impact on lives.

“As part of the GO 20 campaign, Brake is fighting for everyone's right to walk or cycle safely, without fear of fast traffic. By calling for widespread lower limits and debunking myths about 32km/h, Julian has brought this vision a little closer. We look forward to the results of the All-Party Cycling inquiry and thank Julian for his support for GO 20."


Huppert said: "I'm delighted to win this award for a campaign which is so important for making our roads safer and saving lives. I want to see 32km/h limits introduced across all built up areas where cars are likely to come into contact with pedestrians, children walking to school and cyclists.

"Slowing in these areas just makes sense and keeps people safe. I'm delighted Cambridge council is expanding its 20mph limits and I hope councils across the UK will follow its lead."

According to Brake: “Crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.”

Would you like to see such a limit in suburban SA? Email us and we’ll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.

  • Philip Devine - 2013-04-02 13:40

    This scheme really does work well in some villages in England, which have really tight roads, but for any town where a road is a main route or feeder route it's a disaster. As for SA, this would be insane to apply - and even more difficult to police. Rather a set of huge speed bumps for problem roads than a change in the speed limit.

      Kevin Seyffert - 2013-04-04 08:31

      Philip, generally I don't like speed bumps. Cars do drive at different heights above the road and what is reasonable in one takes out your teeth in another. The contractors tend to make the entry and exit angles way too steep and you end up having to virtually stop the car to cross it safely. Also no good. So while they can be very helpful in certain circumstances, Generally they are a bad idea.

  • LiveYourOwnLife - 2013-04-02 16:23

    Introducing this in South Africa would be utter insanity, all that this would do is create revenue for our hidden camera brigade and I'm quite sure increase the level of frustration in drivers.

      LiveYourOwnLife - 2013-04-03 21:07

      Clarence most schools are clearly marked and as such people with an iota of intelligence slow down when they are near them, lets also not forget that the roads are for cars not people and as such pedestrians need to start taking responsibility for their stupidity as well. As a child I was taught to always walk ON the pavement not in the road and to make extra sure before crossing it and lo and behold it has worked. The dangers are not cars doing 60 but people running into the road or crossing in the road when there's a bridge for there safety not even 5 meters from them. Once again I say pedestrians need to take responsibility for their actions as well.

  • Mandy Casey - 2013-04-02 22:53

    As long as they also enforce the 20 mph limit on cyclists too.

  • Riaan Barnard - 2013-04-03 06:30

    The average speed in the built up areas is probably a lot less. Too much traffic.

      Joe Muhr - 2013-04-03 10:57

      Yes, my thoughts exactly. If I could average 32km/h on my daily commute during peak hour it would be a huge *improvement* !

  • Marco Machado - 2013-04-03 12:36

    Make the limit zero. Then there would be no traffic accidents. Brilliant idea.

  • Arthur Salvado - 2013-04-03 15:16

    Roads in SA a little wider than cycling paths

  • jango.za - 2013-04-03 16:41

    And now we know why the English economy is dead. Even more debt-burdened per capita than the USA! More human potplants per square mile than the rest of Europe combined. Constantly at war, but worried about speed fatalities caused at 60km/h. Idiotic little island.

  • Kevin Seyffert - 2013-04-03 19:59

    Ridicules! While HEAVILY build up areas with very narrow streets can do with a 40KMH limit 30 is totally ridicules!

  • Denzil Ford - 2013-04-04 12:05

    Our problem in SA is not really speed, its poor driving habits. And I contribute that to the way you are awarded your license. No license in sa teach you the effects of water, mist, deceleration, corner cutting, not to mention vehicle behavior in an emergency. Force the implementation of proper training, and a merit licensing system and then youll see the death toll decline. Today, a 18 year old is allowed to drive his daddys AMG,,, not to mention the 80 year old grandad driving the Ferrari.

  • Ron Bonthuys - 2013-04-05 10:32

    nothing like a nanny state! So pedestrians and cyclists can do as they please on the roads meant for cars without taking any responsibility for their own safety because cars now have to drive slower on roads meant for cars. Whatever happened to common sense and road safety as a pedestrian? why not employ flag wavers to walk in front of every car then every pedestrian will be safe! Sheesh between these twits and health and safety you will soon require permission to sneeze in public.

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