20mph zones 'reduce casualty rate'

The introduction of 20mph speed zones across London has been recommended after a study revealed it led to a 40% reduction in road injuries over a 10-year period.

The report looked at statistics from 1986 to 2006 and found that casualties were reduced by 41% in 20mph zones, with deaths or serious injuries to children cut by half. An estimated 203 accidents a year are prevented by the zones, sparking recommendations from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who conducted the study, to introduce reduced limits across the capital.

Report authors said that a full-scale roll-out of the zones across London would potentially prevent a further 692 casualties a year.

Concerns that the zones would increase the casualty rate in neighbouring areas proved to be unfounded after the report found that areas adjacent to the zones also witnessed a drop in the number of casualties of 8%.

The authors said: "The additional effect of the 20mph zones was that of a step reduction in casualties and collisions.

"This evidence supports the rationale for 20mph zones not just in major cities in Britain but also in similar metropolitan areas elsewhere. Indeed, even within London, there is a case for extending the currently limited provision of such zones to other high-casualty roads."

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