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Poll: Most Swiss back 30km/h speed limit in urban areas

In September the city of Lausanne introduced a 30km/h speed limit on 122 streets between 10pm-6am to reduce noise pollution – a Swiss first. Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

Most Swiss residents would be in favour of a 30 kilometre (18 miles) per hour speed limit in urban areas, a survey has found.

A poll by the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention (BPA), published on TuesdayExternal link, found that 52% of respondents support a 30km/h speed limit on city streets. An exception would be made for main thoroughfares, which would keep the current speed limit of 50km/h.

The proposal was well supported by elderly people (59% in favour) and women (54%), the poll found. The idea was particularly well received in Italian-speaking regions, where two-thirds of respondents were in favour, followed by French-speaking regions (55%); German-speaking regions were more mixed (50%).

The BPA survey coincided with an announcementExternal link on Tuesday by the town of Sion, the capital of canton Valais, that it plans to reduce the speed limit – day and night – in much of the city to 30km/h from spring 2022. The Sion authorities say they want to improve road safety, noise pollution, air quality and conflicts between road users.

This decision follows a similar move last month by the city of Lausanne, which introduced a 30km/h speed limit on 122 streets between 10pm-6am to reduce noise pollution – a Swiss first.

Other Swiss cities are interested in the idea, including Geneva, Zurich and Winterthur.

A speed limit of 30km/h (18mph) came into force across Paris in neighbouring France on August 30 in a drive to cut accidents, and reduce noise and pollution. A poll found that 59% of Parisians are in favour of the measure, but some businesses are among those opposed.

In Europe, similar 30km/h limits are already in force in the French towns of Grenoble and Lille, as well as Bilbao in Spain, and the Belgian capital, Brussels.

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