Drive at 20 mph for clearer air

A safer pace for Oxfordshire: 20mph

Wherever you are travelling, it’s best to consider walking, cycling or public transport as your first option if possible.  However, the reality is that for now most of us still need to drive - either occasionally or regularly – and so the best thing to do is ‘drive less, drive better and drive at a safer pace’.   

A safer pace means a safer place: communities where it becomes safer and more of a social norm to walk or cycle; increased community health benefits from the active forms of travel - and that’s before we have even talked about the environmental benefits.

It is widely acknowledged that driving at 20mph helps to reduce particulate emissions (when you are not in too low a gear).  The more we all drive at 20mph in a sensible manner the better our air quality will be. 

Q. Will driving slower really help?

A. Yes - driving at a slower speed has been seen to help reduce congestion (which reduces the release of particulates in our built-up environments), it helps to prevent hard breaking and acceleration which also contribute to particulate releases.

The County Council are currently undertaking a 20mph programme that will see some 170 towns and parishes switching their 30mph limits for 20mph limits to help reduce vehicle emissions and shrink our county's carbon footprint.


  • Don’t drive aggressively, be courteous to other road users.
  • Stick to the speed limit
  • Drive in an appropriate gear for the speed limit. Don’t let the engine rev high as this will create more emissions.


  • By being more socially responsible when we are driving our cars we can all make a difference to the levels of pollution that we are creating.
  • Driving at speed puts more stress and strain on a vehicle - that means needing replacement parts more often, with all the manufacturing processes that requires.
Togetherwe canmake a difference