BBK Manifesto: Improve road safety with 20mph zones and smart motorway changes | Bolt Burdon Kemp BBK Manifesto: Improve road safety with 20mph zones and smart motorway changes | Bolt Burdon Kemp

Find lawyer icon
Find your Lawyer

Free call back
Contact us
Round the clock support
Won't shy away from difficult cases
Committed to swiftly progressing claims

BBK Manifesto: Improve road safety with 20mph zones and smart motorway changes

Every day in the UK, five people lose their lives and 82 people are seriously injured on our roads. That is one death or serious injury every 16 minutes.

That is why we are calling for:

  • A reduction of speed limits to 20mph in residential areas
  • The acceleration of safety features on All Lane Running smart motorways


Lower speeds mean fewer collisions and a reduction in the severity of injuries. A pedestrian hit at 30mph has a one in five chance of being killed. This rises significantly to a one in three chance if they are hit at 35mph. Even small increases in speed can lead to an increase in impact severity. Conversely, a pedestrian hit at 20mph has a 1 in 40 chance of being killed. Reducing speed limits to 20mph on residential roads is a key step towards reducing road traffic collisions.

The Welsh Government introduced 20mph default speed limits, which took effect in September 2023. Whilst the introduction was initially met with opposition from drivers, recent data does now support its effectiveness. Recently, data has been released that indicates the number of people injured on 20 and 30mph hour roads in Wales fell by almost a third in the final quarter of 2023. There were 463 casualties on roads between October and December 2023, down from 681 in the same period in 2022.

Smart motorways are another major concern when it comes to road safety. Campaigners believe at least 79 deaths have been linked to smart motorways. Whilst the Government has scrapped plans to build more All Lane Running (ALR) smart motorways, the existing ALR smart motorways are concerning.

There must be an acceleration of plans for increased safety features. We don’t think ALRs should be allowed to operate until, for example, we know the cameras can reliably and rapidly identify stranded vehicles, and the issues with power outages are sorted.

This blog is part of our #ChampioningChange Campaign, specifically, Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP’s 2024 Manifesto for Injured People. In this campaign we call for politicians and candidates to prioritise injured people as they go into the 2024 General Election. This work is informed by our clients’ experiences and our partnerships with charities which support our clients and others like them. If you would like to read more about our full manifesto you can do so here.

Some of Our Accreditations

See more of our accreditations

We’re here to help you.

Want to talk to one of our experienced lawyers? We can call when it suits you for a no-obligation, strictly confidential chat.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser.

This site (and many others) provides a limited experience on unsupported browsers and not all functionality will work correctly or look its best.