The national road safety charity has launched a new campaign appealing to drivers and local authorities to GO 20 in an effort to create a legacy of safe walking and cycling for everyone.

Launched as part of Road Safety Week 2012 [19-26 Nov] the campaign calls for 20mph limits to be imposed in 'built-up areas' after Brake found a large amount of children are prevented from walking and cycling by traffic danger.

The survey of more than 8,000 7-11 year-olds, also supported by Brain Injury Group and Specsavers showed that seven in 10 children say they would be able to walk and cycle more if roads in their neighbourhood were less dangerous and more than three-quarters believe drivers need to slow down around their home and school

The GO 20 coalition is comprised of Brake, Living Streets, Sustrans, the National Heart Forum, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Ramblers and 20's Plenty for Us and spokesperson Julie Townsend said: "Everyone should be able to walk and cycle in their community without fear or threat.

"The 2012 Games helped us all realise the importance of being able to live active lifestyles. Anyone who drives can help bring this about: pledge to GO 20 around homes, schools and shops, even where the limit's still 30: you'll be helping to protect people around you, and you'll hardly notice the difference to your journey. We're also calling on the government and more local authorities to recognise the need for 20mph, and the huge demand for safe walking and cycling, and GO 20."

GO 20 hope to highlight the ways in which slower speeds in towns, cities and villages can help deliver a post-2012 legacy of active communities, and prevent devastating pedestrian and cyclist casualties following a 15% increase in 2011.

Brake have also suggested further benefits of a 20mph limit could include:
• Fewer casualties: at 20, drivers have much more time to react, to help them stop in time if they need to, like if a child runs out.
• More walking and cycling: town and city-wide 20 limits have resulted in more people walking and cycling.
• Healthier, happier people: More walking and cycling means healthier people, and more enjoyable outdoors activity for kids and adults.
• Less pollution: GOing 20 means lower emissions from vehicle journeys.
• Lower costs: Poor health from inactivity costs society dearly. Road casualties cost even more, due to the suffering and burden on health and emergency services.

Paralympic gold medallist and GO 20 ambassador Danny Crates added: "I am passionate about children being able to live healthy, happy, active lives: it's something all kids should be able to do, not just the privileged few.

"Bringing about the 2012 legacy we all want to see isn't only about providing sports facilities. It's also about making our towns, cities and villages places where kids and adults can get out and about - running, walking, cycling, visiting friends, going to the park - without being put in danger, or even being hurt or killed. That's why I'm behind GO 20, and appealing to everyone who's been inspired by the Games to get behind this important campaign."

Read more about the case for GO 20 and pledge your support   

Posted 21/11/2012 by