Calls for 20mph speed limits on Gloucestershire roads after pedestrian and cyclist deaths

Other councils are in the process of reducing the speed limits on a number of roads. Credit: ITV News

There are calls for speed limits to be reduced on some of Gloucestershire's roads after dozens of cyclists and pedestrians have been killed or seriously injured in the county.

Paul Morrish, a retired neurologist, told Gloucestershire County Council there were 124 serious injuries and five deaths of pedestrians and cyclists on the county’s 30mph roads between 2019 and 2021.

He said the increased weight, size and acceleration of electric vehicles means that death and serious injury, as well as damage to roads and buildings, on 30mph speed limit roads will become more common unless further measures are put in place.

It comes as councils including in Cornwall, Oxfordshire and Wales are making residential roads 20mph zones.

Mr Morris said while he worked at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, the wards always had one or two patients with brain injuries.

“Edinburgh has seen a 30 per cent reduction in its casualties, in London on the 30mph arterial routes they’ve seen a 63 per cent reduction in collisions with pedestrians,” he said.

“By going at 20mph we would save around 30 people killed or seriously injured every year in Gloucestershire.

"Why isn’t the council being more proactive in responding to all those communities to make the roads safer for them.

“That would encourage more people to choose walking or cycling. And we would have a fitter population and less money spent in the NHS.”

Cllr Dave Norman Fire accepted the council needed to take time to look at individual requests for the reduction of speed.

Paul Morris used to work at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital Credit: ITV West Country

He said: “Not just 20mph speed limits but the reduction of speed on roads where the current speed may be inappropriate. What we need to do though is accept we have to go through due process.

“And due process involves consultation and we are in a situation where I could not put my hand on my heart and say the right way forward is to make everywhere, where people want it, to immediately be a 20mph zone.”

Cllr Norman said he would be happy to meet with Mr Morrish along with road safety officers to discuss individual requests and make improvements if they are clearly needed.

Credit: Local Democracy Reporter/Carmelo Garcia