Tom Baker’s assertion that the new 20mph speed limits contribute to our air pollution is a useful prompt to our council to get on with explaining to us all why they, like so many councils, are implementing lower speeds where we live, learn and shop. (Letters, April 2, 2015)
In reality tested evidence shows that lower speeds cause very little difference in journey time and can even reduce air pollution, depending on driving style, because traffic flows more smoothly rather than accelerating to 30+mph from one queue in order to stand at the next.
But the real saving in lower speeds is in making it feel safe enough for people to choose active travel options, walking or riding bikes rather than using their cars for short journeys, which is the most polluting use of vehicles.
The children and adults who do so not only improve their health generally, they are also now known to be inhaling less pollution than those inside vehicles.
Readers can visit 20splentyforsheffield.org.uk for factual information regarding the benefits of lower speeds.