London set for 20mph blanket?
A blanket 20mph speed limit could be introduced on all residential roads and high streets in London by 2020, according to the mayor’s transport advisor (Evening Standard).
Motorists could be restricted to 20mph within the M25 on all but major arteries, according to Isabel Dedring, London’s deputy mayor for transport. A 20mph limit is already in place on 19% on the capital’s roads.
A move towards a London-wide limit of 20mph is expected to be included in the Roads Taskforce, set up by the mayor and to be published later this month.
Isabel Dedring, who is in charge of the Taskforce, said: “It could be realistic by 2020. It could be one of these things like smoking (in public places) where suddenly we get to the stage where we can’t believe it would ever have been OK to drive above 20mph.
“I live in a residential road in Camden that isn’t 20mph and I think that this small road with cars bombing down is ridiculous.”
Islington recently became the first London borough to impose a 20mph limit on all the roads it controls and other central London councils are consulting residents on the same borough-wide policy. The Evening Standard article suggests that these central London councils will set off a chain reaction with Westminster, the City of London, Southwark and Lambeth also adopting 20mph.
The Evening Standard also says that the mayor plans to incentivise a shift to 20mph by funding for the necessary physical changes to the roads.
Isabel Dedring says resistance to lowering the limit - mainly from outer London boroughs - is on the wane.
She said: “The boroughs that were previously totally against 20mph are definitely softening their position. There’s recognition that residential roads are different from strategic roads, especially in outer London.
“The issue has been that the borough politicians don’t want to slow motorists down where lots of people drive. No one wants to be the person to say they are slowing all the motorists down and they can’t get to work.”
A spokesman for the AA said: “In principle we have nothing against 20mph zones although you have to remember when you are slowing traffic down you slow down the working life of the city.”
Click here to read the full Evening Standard report.