The new project conducted by Edinburgh University is set to run until 2020
It’s been reported that our roads and streets here in the UK could see speed limits reduced from 30mph to 20mph as part of a new study which is set to run until 2020.
The new project will be lead by Edinburgh University over the next three years, with the intention to educate cities around the UK of the potential safety benefits associated with lowering the speed limit in built-up areas.
In some areas of Edinburgh and Belfast the speed limit has already been reduced by 10mph, to test the notion that the amount of traffic accidents and injuries decrease when vehicles travel at lower speeds.
Edinburgh University is working together with the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy on the new project, which is reported to be the largest study of its kind.
Once the project has ended in 2020, both parties will look at the data collected over the three year period to help and advise other cities here in the UK on the best ways to reduce speed limits and the impact their results had overall.
Road safety is what the project will focus on the most, comparing the rates of traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities before and after the speed limit is reduced.
As part of the study, a review will be carried out regarding the impact 20mph limits have on those who cycle or walk rather than drive. Also, local residents will be asked for their opinions about reducing the speed limits in their area and what impact it has had on their life in general.
The National Institute for Health Research is funding the study, partnering up with other universities in the UK, NHS Health Scotland and Sustrans – a UK charity who are trying to make it easier for people to cycle and walk.
“We are excited to launch this major project, which we hope will provide very important insights into the public health effects of such initiatives,” said Dr Ruth Jepson from the university’s Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.
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