Paris moves to 30 km/h across the city, as Brussels hails safety gains

  • September 6, 2021

The French capital has introduced Europe’s largest 30 km/h zone, covering the entire city for the first time with the exception of several main roads, such as the Champs Elysée and the main ring road.

30 km/h limits already covered two thirds of the city, but the zone has now been extended in a further bid to reduce collisions, noise and pollution.  The southern city of Montpellier also introduced a city-wide 30 km/h limit on 1 August.

The changes in France came as officials in the Belgian capital Brussels published new figures showing a continued decline in collisions, injuries and deaths as a result of its city-wide 30 km/h limit introduced in January.

According to the latest data from the first six months of this year, the decrease in the number of serious injuries and deaths was 25% compared to the average for the first half of the years 2016-20.  The latest figures are even lower than last year, when the city was in a lockdown for several months.

Despite the progress, the figures show an increase in the number of injured cyclists, though that is explained partly by the large increase in people travelling by bike in Brussels over the last two years.

The city also noted a marked reduction in noise pollution thanks to the speed decrease.

  • In Germany seven city authorities are hoping the new government will put in place legal changes giving local governments greater control over local speed limits. The cities hope to put in place pilot 30 km/h limits to reduce pollution and noise and improve safety.
  • 20 mph limits could soon be set to become the default in ‘built-up areas’ in Scotland according to media reports. The move follows an ongoing trial of default 20 mph limits in Wales.
  • The Finnish Road Safety Council (Liikenneturva), an ETSC member, is calling for more 30 km/h zones in Finland. The organisation says there is a correlation between areas with more 30 km/h limits and fewer collisions.