Anti 20mph group forced to withdraw misleading ad

We received this update on 12th Nov 2014 from the Brighton cycle campaign, Bricycles, about their success in challenging misleading claims about 20mph areas and casualties.  Bristol’s city-wide 20mph scheme continues to be rolled out with the sensible strap line ‘A little bit slower. A whole lot better’. Further detailed information can be found on the 20’s Plenty for Us website

Bricycles welcomes ruling on Unchain’s misleading 20 mph casualties ad

Bricycles welcomes today’s ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority on an advert about casualties on 20 mph roads. [See note 1]

The ad from pro-motoring group “Unchain the Brighton Motorist” appeared in The Argus on 18 July 2014. One of the headings read “Casualties rise by more than 20% on 20 mph roads”. The ad implied there was a relationship between 20 mph speed limits and an increase in casualties. The ad has been judged to be misleading and unsubstantiated by the advertising regulator. The ASA have told Unchain to ensure they do not make claims in future about the relationship between speed limits and casualties if they cannot substantiate them. The ad breached the code on misleading advertising, substantiation and qualification, and it must not appear again in its current form. 

This is the third time the ASA have ruled that advertisements produced by the Unchain group have been misleading. [See note 2]


Becky Reynolds of Bricycles said “We complained to the ASA about this ad and we welcome their ruling which confirms our view that the ad was misleading. We don’t want to see the public misinformed about a crucial area like Road Safety. Far from an increase in casualties, the data in Brighton and Hove for phase 1 of the 20 mph area shows that there has been a decrease in both the number of casualties and the severity of injuries when the figures for 8  April 2013 to 7  April 2014 are compared with the previous three years. Collisions are also down. We are strongly in support of slower traffic speeds which are a great step forward for the safety of all road users.”[See note 3]

In a separate ruling, following a complaint from the Unchain group about a Brighton and Hove City Council leaflet, the ASA supported the Council’s statement that a 20mph speed limit leads to a reduction in road collisions and the severity of casualties and improves the quality of life of local neighbourhoods. [See Note 4]


1 – Latest ASA ruling on Unchain the Brighton Motorist advertisement on casualties and 20 mph

2 – 4 rulings in total on Unchain the Brighton Motorist, 3 upheld or partially upheld:

3 – Figures for the first year of 20 mph Phase 1 implementation are at Casualties and collisions are significantly down. Figures for Phase 2, implemented in July are not available yet.

4 – ASA ruling on Brighton and Hove City Council leaflet –


Becky Reynolds

Bricycles, the Brighton and Hove Cycling Campaign

Bricycles is a not-for-profit community group that campaigns for better conditions for cycling.