Have your say on our 20mph limits and zones in the Borough

Policy for the introduction of 20mph speed limits and zones

This page outlines the current proposals for the policy for the introduction of 20mph limits and zones in the Borough. Please also read the Process for handling public requests, the policy in full and the Appendices, so that you can provide feedback to inform the final policy.


We intend to introduce a policy for the introduction of 20mph limits and zones in the Borough.

There are various advantages associated with 20mph speed limits.

  • Controlling vehicle speeds to 20mph or less is an important tool for improving road safety, particularly for vulnerable road users. There is clear evidence of the effect of reducing traffic speeds on the reduction of collisions and casualties, as collision frequency is less at lower speeds, and where collisions do occur, there is a reduced risk of fatal and serious injury.
  • The Department for Transport (DfT) guidance relating to cycling infrastructure. recommends managing vehicle speeds (not just the speed limit) to 20mph or less where cyclists are required to use the carriageway. The considered use of 20mph limits forms a key part of Rotherham Cycling Strategy.
  • Where speeds of 20mph are achieved, noise from road traffic may be reduced by as much as 5 decibels. 
  • Where 20mph zones are introduced, drivers may feel encouraged to use more suitable routes where these permit higher speeds, reducing traffic within the zones

Key aspects of the policy

  • A 1 mph reduction in average speed can reduce the collision frequency in urban areas by around 2 - 6%
  • Reduction in accidents in 20mph speed limits supported with physical traffic calming to be around 40%  - 60%
  • At 20mph noise from road traffic may be reduced by as much as 5 decibels. 

Criteria for streets eligible for 20mph speed limits

After speeds

Top speed of 85% of motorised traffic should be less than 20mph, must be less than 22mph

>20mph only acceptable where 

  • Not a main cycle route
  • Not on a route to school
  • No record of NMU casualties

Ensure likelihood of death or serious injury in event of collision is truly minimised

After volumes

PCU = Passenger Car Unit

Should not exceed in any hour

  • 200 PCU per hour (ideal)
  • 450 PCU per hour (general)
  • 600 PCU per hour (exceptional)

Surrounding network of roads should be attractive alternative to encourage traffic out of minor streets

Bus usage

Preferably no buses

Maximum 6 buses per hour each way, except in a town centre location


To minimise situations inviting speeds exceeding 20mph

Online survey

This consultation closed on the 1 January 2024.