'Overwhelming majority' of public want 20mph speed limit

One hundred local councils have already introduced 20mph speed limits in built-up areas. Credit: PA

The overwhelming majority of the general public want to see a 20mph speed limit introduced in all built up areas, including around schools and town centres, according to a survey.

Road charity Brake found 78% of people wanted to see tougher restrictions on speed in residential areas in a bid to reduce accidents and save lives.

A further 72% of those who spoke to the road safety charity said they wanted roads in their town or village to be made safer for walking.

Areas which have already introduced a 20mph limit have seen a drop in casualty numbers, with Portsmouth recording a 22% dip and Camden in north London seeing a 54% reduction in crashes, say Brake.

Two thirds of fatal accidents are on 30mph roads, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Credit: PA

The road safety charity is calling on MPs to introduce 20mph as the default urban speed limit and will take its campaign to Parliament later today.

While the Government has not flatly refused to introduce the measure, a Department of Transport spokesman pointed out 20mph zones were a matter for local councils and should remain that way.

Research from the Transport Research Laboratory suggests a 20mph limit cuts child pedestrian accidents by up to 70%.

In 2012 13 child cyclists were killed and 420 pedestrians died using Britain's roads.