Transport and travel charities in the UK have teamed up to lobby the Government to reduce the speed limit to 20mph in cities, towns and villages.

The call by ten charities follows the recent Road Safety Statement from the Department for Transport which sets out the UK Government’s road safety action plan. Campaigners say that, among the 74 actions, there is little focus on reducing speeds in built-up areas despite research showing casualties in such areas are reduced by up to two-fifths when vehicle speeds are kept to 20mph or below.

“The imminent arrival of new technology such as speed limiters on vehicles and Government policies encouraging more people to walk and cycle makes the speed limit we set all the more important,” said Rod King, Founder of 20’s Plenty for Us, one of the charities involved.

“Moving to a default speed limit of 20mph is an essential building block in making our cities, towns and villages safer and more attractive places to walk, cycle and spend time outside.”

In a letter to the Minister of State for Transport, the campaigners say there is widespread support for 20mph limits both from the public and also from many national and international road safety and public health specialists.

The charities, which also include Bicycle Association of Great Britain, Brake and Roadpeace, stress that local authorities could still be free to retain higher limits on roads where they believe it appropriate.