Campaigners call on the UK government to slash the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph in towns – as research reveals this can reduce emissions from a typical car by 28%

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  • Researchers model the effect of vehicles in stopping traffic on emissions
  • He did 20 and 30mph. A clear increase in CO2 and NOx emissions was found between
  • At 20mph CO2 emissions were 26 percent lower, and NOx 28 percent lower
  • Campaigners are calling on the government to make 20mph a new urban default

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According to campaigners, the speed limit in urban areas should be reduced to just 20 miles per hour.

Research by engineering consultant SkyRad has shown that it can cut vehicle emissions by up to 28 percent.

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The study, funded by campaign group 20’s Plenty for Us, involved ‘real-life’ modeling of urban traffic, taking into account the stop start nature of roads in towns and villages.

The team compared scenarios with 20 and 30 mph limits, and found that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were 26 percent lower in the 20 zone, while nitrogen oxides (NOx) were 28 percent lower.

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Campaigners say the findings clearly reduce the 20 mph limit in urban and rural areas to help Britain reach its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

According to campaigners, reducing the speed limit in urban areas to just 20 mph, research showed it could cut vehicle emissions by 28 percent

The SkyRad researchers found that the energy needed to get a car to reach 30 mph was 2.25 times greater than to reach 20 mph, leading to more emissions in the process.

The SkyRad researchers found that the energy needed to get a car to reach 30 mph was 2.25 times greater than to reach 20 mph, leading to more emissions in the process.

What is the effect of speed on emissions in stop start traffic?

SkyRad used an innovative approach to model the effect of maximum vehicle speed in typical urban traffic.

It found that higher peak vehicle speeds – the maximum reach between junctions – adversely affect CO2 and NOx emissions, while having only a small effect on total travel time.

Emissions were dominated by the energy required to accelerate the vehicle in stop-start traffic.

table title
Max Speed ​​(mph)fuel efficiency (mpg)CO 2
1538.530mph. 93% less than
2032.130mph. 61% less than
3020
Source: SKYRAD
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SkyRad models CO2 and NOx emissions from steady to accelerating between five and 50 mph for a variety of vehicles and sizes.

He said that the repeated acceleration and braking, rather than the steady state, represents better modeling of real-world emissions in congested cities and towns.

It was found that for the Ford Focus, going at 20mph would produce about 170g of CO2 per kilometer traveled, while at 30mph that went at 240g per km traveled.

The researchers found that higher peak vehicle speeds – the maximum reach between junctions – have an adverse effect on CO and NOx emissions, while having only a small effect on total travel time.

Unlike many accepted models currently in use, emissions were dominated by the energy required to accelerate the vehicle in stop-start traffic.

Previous models of traffic impact on emissions exclude the effect of stop-start traffic and consider only the ‘cruise’ portion of the journey.

As well as the Ford Focus, the team modeled the impact of the Range Rover Discovery and the Ford Transit van.

The effect on travel time was also modeled, showing that a maximum speed of 20 mph reduced the average travel time by eight percent compared to a maximum speed of 30 mph.

“It’s clear that repeated acceleration dominates emissions in city driving,” said Rod King MBE, founder and campaign director of 20’s Planty for Us.

‘This research quantifies the effect and shows how reducing the maximum speed can have a significant beneficial effect on emissions.

‘It’s time for all governments to say a lot of 20 for the planet and for our health. With the advent of COP26, this transport is an effective step towards carbon reduction.

The campaign group says the auto industry is ‘fully aware of the impact of acceleration on vehicle emissions’ but does not publish the results.

‘Basic physics means that reaching 30 mph compared to 20 mph requires 2.25 times more energy,’ he said, and when replicated in real-world environments – including at junctions and crossings Involves slowing down – this adds to the overall vehicle emissions.

The researchers tracked the average CO2 produced at various maximum speed limits for the average family car in an urban area.  Finding 20mph Was the Most Viable Limit

The researchers tracked the average CO2 produced at various maximum speed limits for the average family car in an urban area. Finding 20mph Was the Most Viable Limit

They also observed NOx, nitrogen dioxide and monoxide produced at different speed ranges

They also observed NOx, nitrogen dioxide and monoxide produced at different speed ranges

The group said the speed limit cuts are an important initiative to reduce climate-warming CO2 emissions and harmful NOx, adding that they also have a significant impact on public health through improving air quality and active travel.

Wales already plans to raise the national urban default limit from 30mph to 20mph by 2023.

The Scottish government has announced its plans to set 20mph as a norm across the country by 2025.

The Department of Transport has been contacted for comment.

Revealed: MailOnline dissects the impact of greenhouse gases on the planet – and what is being done to stop air pollution

emissions

carbon di oxide

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the biggest contributors to global warming. It remains there after the gas is released into the atmosphere, making it difficult for heat to escape – and warming the planet in the process.

It is mainly released by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas as well as cement production.

As of April 2019, the average monthly concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is 413 parts per million (ppm). Before the Industrial Revolution, the concentration was just 280 ppm.

CO2 concentrations have fluctuated between 180 and 280ppm over the past 800,000 years, but have greatly accelerated due to pollution caused by humans.

nitrogen dioxide

The gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) comes from the burning of fossil fuels, car exhaust emissions and the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers used in agriculture.

Although there is much less NO2 than CO2 in the atmosphere, it …

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