Sunday 3 July 2016

20mph at Queensbridge School

Enjoying the 20mph sign quiz -
Where's that sign?
With the advent of our new 20 mph limits, what has changed in terms of road safety in Kings Heath and Moseley?  Coming back to the wonderful Queensbridge Summer Fete, I had the opportunity to ask people about 20s plenty for us and whether or not they've noticed any difference to road safety.

Last year I was at the fete asking people about cycling to school, sharing a stand with Linda from Sustrans.  This year I was on my own, and given the monumentous change in speed limits in Moseley and Kings Heath, I had to ask about the impact of 20mph limits.

Queensbridge School now finds itself in the middle of a large, and growing, 20 mph limit area stretching in every direction from the school.  I wanted to know what parents and children thought.

I'd heard people complain about the size and visibility of the signs themselves.  Also I'd heard complaints that the signs didn't slow people, or even made the roads more dangerous - I was keen to test if this was really what people thought, and why.  With a little help from my son at Queensbridge, I devised a quick quiz to see if you could spot where the 20mph signs were in 16 different locations locally.  As a follow up I asked three simple questions (see below) and then asked people to comment on their responses.

Every road (except the blue ones in middle, top right and bottom left)
are now 20mph

Taking the survey
Admittedly a small survey, but even so, very few people (12%) thought the signs had made 'no change', nearly three quarters of people found the signs easy (or very easy) to see, and only 6% hadn't changed their driving habits to slow in 20mph.

As always the conversations with people helped explain more.

  • A quarter of people surveyed commented the signs on the road surface were best, and there could be more
  • Four people thought the LED signs were great and should be used more
  • Several commented particular issues entering roads and seeing signs - Brook Lane, Russell Road and Reddings Road
  • Several thought we should be extending the 20mph
  • A couple commented on measures outside schools to calm traffic is needed too

Other comments:

'They feel indiscriminate and not properly publicised and explained'
'It's not being enforced by police, and politicians putting notes through everyone's doors telling people this has made it worse'   
'They make roads more dangerous because people are trying to overtake when they shouldn't'

Having been involved in campaigning for 20mph zones, I was surprised just how positive people were about the changes, with only one negative comment (see last quote).  This was more than reflecting the 72% of people who support 20 mph limits in residential areas in recent Government polls.  While being mindful that this survey was in a school, and that I only surveyed 32 people, I think there is much cause for hope that we can change dangerous driving habits outside our schools which still lead to much injury and death.

Every month more than 1,000 British children are injured on roads near schools,  20 mph limits might help, but much more needs to be done to protect our children outside their own schools.


  1. Is that blue section in the third pie a 'yes' ?
    What is "and only 6% hadn't changed their driving habits to slow in 20mph." supposed to be telling us ?

    Since all these silly speed limits appeared, I take no notice of them.

  2. The blue section is 'I always travel under 20 mph when that's the limit' red is 'I reduce my speed a little', and yellow is 'no change', which was 6%. What most people were saying (94‰) was that they reduce their speed because of the 20mph signs. What do you think would help you, or other drivers drive safer?