Richmond set to introduce 20mph limits – despite inconclusive consultation

08.31 | 15 February 2019 | | 8 comments

A borough-wide 20mph limit is set to be introduced in Richmond, subject to final council approval.

Amended proposals have been submitted following a 12-week consultation, held last year, in which opinion was split down the middle – with 47.9% of respondents in favour and 49.7% opposed to the scheme.

The consultation, which attracted nearly 10,000 responses, did however show support for 20mph limits among vulnerable road users – including 60% of people aged 75 years and older, and 65% of those aged under 19 years.

52% of respondents agreed that a 20mph limit would reduce the number and severity of collisions in the borough.

The amended proposals, which include exemptions for a number of key roads in the borough, will now go before Richmond Council’s scrutiny committee and cabinet for final approval.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, cabinet member for transport, streetscene and air quality, said: “A majority of residents acknowledged that a borough-wide 20mph limit would improve road safety, but a small number of these residents felt unable to lend our original proposal their unreserved support.

“That is why we’ve spent time studying the consultation responses and have made meaningful changes to our proposals.”

The 20mph proposal is supported by Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, who said: “It is great to see Richmond Council looking to implement a 20mph scheme.

“The roll-out of 20mph speed limits in the borough will reduce the danger for cyclists and pedestrians. That’s an important part of putting people, and not vehicles, at the heart of our transport plans.

“Making our streets more appealing for people walking and cycling brings health benefits to all Londoners, reduces congestion and helps tackle the toxic air crisis.”



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    I agree with Rod that an Authority should take a “nuanced and informed decision” regarding 20mph limits. I respect Richmond’s decision (but glad that I don’t live there).

    In a similar situation, I respect other Local Authorities”nuanced and informed decision” when they choose not to support default wide area signed only 20s.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (5) | Disagree (0)

    Perhaps we should remind ourselves that this was a consultation and not a referendum. It was meant to inform rather than mandate. Councillors have the responsibility to set the correct speed limit taking into account a wide number of factors. An important factor in the guidance is that “the needs of vulnerable road users must be fully taken into account”.

    In my opinion Richmond have taken a nuanced and informed decision to set 20mph limits for most streets and I applaud that. The consultation has helped to enable them to do that.

    Rod King, Warrington
    Agree (1) | Disagree (10)

    I think the difference Hugh is that an independent individual may tell the truth as they see it but a politician or government officer or interested party may give us a politically motivated answer and that is supportive of the party line or what they want us to believe.

    As Paul mentioned there has been [ or may have been in some areas] a decrease in injuries to cyclists and pedestrians ‘to some extent’. That small extent is all that can be achieved with merely the placements of 20 mph speed signs.

    Without other measures designed to reduce speed such as engineering, obstructions, chicaines, road humps, repeater signs etc. and massive police involvement nothing is going to get any better than it is now or has been in the past.

    Agree (6) | Disagree (1)

    Are the public informed and qualified enough to form an opinion either way i.e. how, or whether Paul? The public are not generally as knowledgeable on such subjects as those paid to be so.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (0) | Disagree (1)

    Charles – there is real evidence that such schemes do reduce real speeds and consequently injuries to cyclists and pedestrians to some extent. Yes closure of rat-runs would be more effective but there is a limit on how brave politicians are prepared to be.

    Paul Luton, Teddington
    Agree (2) | Disagree (6)

    Hugh – the best advice from Waltham Forest is to consult the public HOW you should implement your manifesto policies not WHETHER.

    Paul Luton, Teddington
    Agree (1) | Disagree (2)

    So a political sop rather than a serious road safety initiative then. I’d also be interested to know what they know that we don’t, that led them to claim that these signs “will reduce the danger for cyclists and pedestrians”. Are they going to use them to bar the roads to motor traffic, or what?

    Charles, Wells
    Agree (12) | Disagree (4)

    As recent history has shown, consulting the public on subjects they know little about is not a good idea. Councils should have the courage of their convictions and once Council approval has been obtained implement it, but subject only to the statutory notices required by law. Public consultation may be good PR, but not necessarily useful.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (7) | Disagree (6)

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