Support for reducing the speed limit on all urban roads from 30mph to 20mph has increased in recent years with almost half of drivers now in favour, according to new research by road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart.

Overall, 44 percent of drivers surveyed agreed that all current 30mph limits should be replaced with a 20mph limit, a 13 percent increase from the same representative sample surveyed in 2014.

Areas outside schools were seen as the highest priority for reducing speed limits to 20mph, receiving support from 89 percent of respondents.

The main reasons put forward by supporters of a blanket reduction in the speed limit were to “make the roads safer” (49 percent) and ‘reduce accidents / saving lives’ (24 percent).

Meanwhile, those against argue that 20mph is too slow and that individual roads or areas should be considered, rather than a blanket ban.

Just over half of drivers, 54 percent, would like the road outside their home to have a 20mph limit, much higher than 44 percent when the survey was last conducted seven years ago.

“Improving road safety is key but a blanket ban on reducing 30mph speed limits to 20mph speed limits isn’t necessarily the best route,” said Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy & Research.

“Each situation needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis, with local considerations and consultation playing an important role.”

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