20’s Plenty Campaign 

20 Is Plenty

About the Campaign

Greening Steyning is part of a Community Working Party looking into the idea of turning the whole of Steyning and adjoining parts of Bramber into a 20MPH zone.

We think it’s a great idea!  Here’s why:

  • 20mph Zone SignA 20 MPH limit throughout the town should have a big effect in calming traffic, and would make our streets feel safer, healthier, and more welcoming for everyone.
  • It should shift the balance in favour of walking and cycling, and help get people out of their cars.
  • It would particularly benefit children and vulnerable groups who find our busy streets daunting.
  • It’s much safer: you are 7 times less likely to die if hit at 20 compared to 30 MPH.
  • It is good for the environment as it cuts road noise and should cut emissions because there is less acceleration and braking.
  • It should be largely self-enforcing, especially if we back it up with driver education and community engagement measures.

It is the first step in making our community safer, healthier and greener.  We aim to follow it up with efforts to prompt further traffic calming measures and improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure – so we can reach our 2030 Vision of making ours one of the greenest and most sustainable communities in the UK.

There are some who question whether a 20 MPH zone will work.  Scroll down and you’ll find more details on the evidence that backs up the idea.

Steyning High St Dreamtime 800px

20mph Survey20MPH Community Consultation

Any proposals will be decided on by West Sussex County Council (WSCC). Evidence of strong local backing for any scheme is essential, so a wide-ranging community consultation was held in Spring 2021.  Every household in the affected areas of Bramber and Steyning got a survey leaflet through the door asking for their views. People could also respond online.  The online version includes some important additional questions on future traffic calming measures like making the High Street a ‘shared space’.  It also asks for views on how we can encourage cycling and walking, electric vehicle charging and public transport links.

The full results of the 20mph consultations have been made available on the Steyning Parish Council website, so dig in if you’d like to see the details.  The report comes in two sections: 

  • Part 1 covers the 20mph zone idea – which as we reported in the last newsletter – got a clear thumbs up from the majority or residents.  The margin was almost two-to-one.   You can find it here.
  • Part 2 covers the second part of the online survey looking at possible future sustainable transport measures.  These included further traffic calming, reducing speed limits on the Steyning Bypass, encouraging walking & cycling, encouraging public transport, and installing electric vehicle charging points.  You can find this report here.

You can see the headline results in graph form by clicking on the image below.

part 2 headline results

What happens next on 20mph?

Armed with the results of the Consultation, Steyning and Bramber Parish Councils have gone ahead with an application to West Sussex County Council for a Community Highways Scheme (CHS) to implement a 20mph zone.   If this gets their backing, WSCC Highways Department will then carry out tests to assess current traffic speeds and on the basis of this data will come up with an outline scheme.  This will be subject to a further round of public consultation, before a final decision on whether to proceed.  If successful, implementation work would begin in 2022.  So it will take some time – but hopefully not too long.

20s Plenty Campaign Launch Header20’s Plenty Campaign

Greening Steyning backed the idea of a 20mph zone with a campaign of our own.  We launched it at an online event at 7.30pm on 30th March.  We were joined by two guest speakers:

Adrian Berendt, South East Coordinator of the national 20’s Plenty campaign, laid out the very clear evidence from other towns on how reducing speed limits cuts road accidents and has proved popular with local residents.

Adam Bronkhorst, from Shoreham by Cycle, spoke about their campaign efforts to improve cycling infrastructure in Shoreham.

The background to the Steyning scheme was explained, along with the ways people can contribute to the consultation now underway.

Click on the video image below to see a full recording of the event.

20's plenty video link

Take a look at the evidence on why 20 is Plenty

Comments on social media and elsewhere show that some people are sceptical about the benefits of a 20 MPH zone, raising a number of doubts and concerns.  We have addressed some of the main concerns below. There are plenty of studies online and the evidence for 20 mph streets is growing not just in the UK, but worldwide. We recognise that it isn’t the complete answer to our problems of unsafe, unhealthy roads but it is a positive start to improving our roads for everyone.

What is the evidence that roads are safer with a 20mph speed limit?  – Numerous studies have gathered evidence that there were less accidents after 20mph zones were introduced in residential areas.  See: Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents FactsheetBMJ article

Does it really encourage more cycling and walking? – Cyclists and pedestrians perceive roads to be safer when vehicles are moving slower, so after 20mph was introduced, cycling and walking have increased.  See:  2018 Literature Review

Is there less pollution? – There is less noise pollution if cars are not accelerating so much. Cars accelerating to 20mph use less fuel than those accelerating to 30mph.  See:  Hammersmith & Fulham Evidence Review, NICE recommendation

Won’t all the extra signage look unsightly? – Road signs are not excessive, and roads will look more attractive if 20mph encourages less vehicle traffic on the road.  Many historic high streets have adapted it and have not been ruined. Check out Arundel high street and Partridge Green both have recently introduced a 20mph speed limit. Also, the historic town of Lewes now has it.

What’s the point if it can’t be enforced? –  Studies of places where 20mph has been introduced, show that most people comply and reduce their speed especially when they understand the benefits, so a majority of people travel slower than before.  It is enforceable by law – like all other speed limits – but with stretched resources few police forces play an active role in doing this.  Some communities have set up their own speed surveys and this has helped reinforce the speed limit, but there are no plans for this in Steyning at present. See:  20’s Plenty advice on police enforcementDept. of Transport Research Study.

It will be very expensive, and the money could be better spent elsewhere? –  Since it mainly involves signage, it is a low cost, one-off investment that improves road safety and health. See:  20’s Plenty advice on costsExamples from Bristol.


About the 20MPH Working Party

The Working Party is multi-stakeholder group. 

As well as Greening Steyning, it includes representatives from Steyning and Bramber Parish Councils, the District and County Councils, Steyning and District Business Chamber, and Steyning and District Community Partnership.

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If you have any questions or suggestions, please get in touch at transport@greeningsteyning.org