Labour’s candidates in Leeds NW are campaigning for 20 mph speed limits in residential areas. Julie Heselwood in Weetwood, Jonathan Pryor in Headingley, Mark Henley in Adel and Wharfedale and Carl Morris in Otley and Yeadon have all made this a plank of their policy for the Council elections in 2014. Alex Sobel, Leeds NW’s Parliamentary candidate for 2015, is committed to this policy. And Headingley Labour Councillors, Neil Walshaw and Janette Walker have already been instrumental in securing them in large parts of their ward.

Alex Sobel and Julie Heselwood campaigning for 20 mph speed limits
Alex Sobel and Julie Heselwood campaigning for 20 mph speed limits

We’ve reported before on the benefits of this policy.

But it was good to see them confirmed – and from one of the premier organisations for Social Scientists – the British Academy.
The British Academy asked nine of its social scientist members the question – if you could do one thing to improve health inequalities, what would it be
– One policy intervention that local authorities could introduce to improve the health of the local population and reduce health inequalities.

Professor Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford, was clear: 20mph Speed Limits for Cars in Residential Areas, by Shops and Schools

He points out:
– That road traffic accidents are the single largest cause of death for young people aged 5-25
– That traffic deaths are rising for children and for the elderly
– That both pedestrians and cyclists are much safer when traffic is travelling at 20 mph
– That where this policy has been implemented, there are already marked reductions in accidents and deaths
– And that there are many other beneftis – in carbon emission reduction, less congestion, as well as stronger communities, more walking and cycling – and less obesity.
You can download his full article here.

We felt this was the right policy – which is why our candidates are backing it. But it’s good to get extra strength to your elbow.

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