Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by Kingston upon Hull City Council (RTS 152)



  By the end of August 2002, there will be one hundred and twelve 20 mph zones in Hull, more than any other authority area in the country (ninety had been completed by March 2002).

  These zones have contributed to dramatic reductions in road casualties and cover a large area of the city (1340 ha). There are over 190 km of roads subject to a 20 mph limit (representing 26 per cent of all roads in the city).

  In 1999, Hull saw a 21 per cent fall in all road casualties from the 1981-85 baseline (25 per cent reduction if trunk road casualties are removed). To put this into perspective, the Yorkshire & Humberside region experienced a 15 per cent increase over the similar period. In terms of child casualties, we have seen a 33 per cent drop since the mid 80's (compared to a similar national reduction of 16.5 per cent).

  The benefits of achieving slower speeds in residential areas are well known, but few authorities have been able to achieve what we believe amounts to a culture change on a city wide basis. There is still much work to be done in Hull (as discussed later in this paper) but the widespread acceptance of 20mph zones on residential streets has given us the confidence to set achievable local casualty reduction targets that are much more challenging than the national targets. Ironically, Hull's unique funding situation may be the only real barrier to achieving these targets, this will be discussed later.

  This paper briefly examines the success of Hull's zones, and through the extent of experience which has been gained, aims to demonstrate their role in achieving a safer infrastructure for our children.


  The following statistics provide a brief picture of Hull:

    —  All wards within the city are within the highest 30 per cent in terms of national indices of multiple deprivation (three wards are within the highest 100 national wards)

    —  Population approx. 258,000 (320,000 greater Hull)

    —   Very flat

    —  Around 37 per cent Council tenants

    —  Hull 51 per cent households with no car—National 32 per cent (91 census)

    —  10 per cent walk to work, 14 per cent cycle to work (91 census)

    —  Traffic growth less than 1 per cent

    —  Over 1,500 road humps.


Great Britain
All casualties
-21 per cent
+5 per cent
Child casualties
-25 per cent
-12 per cent
All pedestrians
-37 per cent
-16 per cent
Child pedestrians
-39 per cent
-16 per cent
Adult pedestrians
-34 per cent
-13 per cent
All cycle casualties
-21 per cent
-17 per cent
Child cycle casualties
-15 per cent
-22 per cent
Adult cycle casualties
-23 per cent
-15 per cent

  Typically within Hull, 20 mph zones have achieved reductions[106] in injury accidents of:

    —  Total accidents -56 per cent

    —  Killed & seriously injured accidents -90 per cent

    —  Accidents involving child casualties -64 per cent

    —  All pedestrian accidents -54 per cent

    —  Child pedestrian accidents -74 per cent.

  It is estimated that at the end of 1999, 390 injury accidents had been prevented within the 20 mph zones which had been previously installed. 122 of these would have involved injuries to children.

  The reason for these reductions is simply because of the reductions in average vehicle speeds which 20 mph zones enforce through their engineering measures. For example, road hump schemes typically see reductions in speed from the high 20's to around 17 mph.


  The benefits of 20 mph zones for all road users and especially children are far-reaching providing that their needs are considered as part of the scheme. Our experience in Hull has shown that this can be achieved with little extra effort.

  To balance the effects of the casualty reductions, we have gone to a tremendous amount of effort to meet the needs of the emergency services and bus operators. This is particularly true of the last few years, where we have developed ambulance and bus friendly measures which are now adopted as standard in Hull and other adjacent local authorities. Recent schemes have included:

    —  A new access (with rising bollards) to improve response times for the emergency services.

    —  Raised bus stops to improve access for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

    —  Amending previous traffic calming designs to latest ambulance friendly standards.

  All of the zones installed in Hull so far have benefited from extensive levels of public consultation through leaflets, questionnaires, exhibitions, presentations to ward forums, residents committees and feedback sessions. Previous response rates to questionnaires have been between 10-40 per cent and typically:

    —  80-100 per cent are in favour of 20 mph zones.

    —  70-95 per cent are in favour of humps/cushions.


  In August 2000, we asked 3,700 residents of existing 20 mph zones what they thought of the scheme, 546 replied (15 per cent).

    —  Over 25 per cent of respondents said that they walked or cycled more since the scheme was introduced.

    —  Nearly 80 per cent of respondents thought that the installation of the scheme was a good idea.

    —  Over 70 per cent of respondents said that they would recommend traffic calming to someone in another area.

    —  78 per cent of respondents felt that traffic speeds had reduced since the measures were installed.

    —  25 per cent of respondents felt that there was less traffic since the 20 mph zone had been installed.

    —  Over 50 per cent of respondents felt that the 20 mph zone had made the area a more pleasant place in which to live. This was particularly encouraging since all of the areas surveyed also suffer from a variety of other problems.

    —  60 per cent of respondents felt that more children played in the street.


  We are committed to carrying on with our programme of 20 mph zones and still have over 60 outstanding requests for traffic calming.

  Of the 733 km of roads in Hull, 191 km will have 20 mph limits by September 2002 (26 per cent). There are around a further 249 km that are suitable for 20 mph zones (residential streets and local distributor routes outside schools). This would make up 40 per cent of Hull's roads, consist of around a further 180 20 mph zones, and would cost an estimated £5.8 million to achieve.

  This is certainly achievable and Hull is perhaps, best placed, within the national context to demonstrate the positive effects of appropriate traffic speeds in the urban environment. We would welcome any work to measure the effects of what we have done so far.

  In response to our recent best value pilot review and to address emergency service concerns, we are committed to revisiting at least three previous local safety scheme funded 20 mph zones each year. This provides an excellent opportunity to update the measures to the latest designs and also add further pedestrian and cycle facilities.


  Since SCA under Local Transport Plans are now allocated under the Single Capital Pot, Hull is in the unique position of being unable to borrow against its allocation (£7.26million in 2002-03) due to the level of its Capital Reserves from the sale of the Council's telecommunications company in 1998. This has seriously affected our ability to continue with a programme of 20 mph zones and we are currently exploring limited funding options


  There is much work to be done both nationally and in Hull to improve our child road safety record. In addition to the national target of a 50 per cent reduction (by 2010) in the number of children killed or seriously injured, we have set ourselves a local target of a 50 per cent reduction in all child casualties. We believe that this will only be achieved through the extension of our network of 20 mph zones as part of an integrated approach to road safety.

Tony Kirby

Safety Engineer, Traffic Services

March 2002

106   Based upon the 13no 1996-97 local safety scheme 20mph zones. Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 5 July 2002