Friday, April 12, 2013
Islington Council set to become the first London borough to introduce a 20mph speed limit on all residential roads
Work to introduce the new signage is well underway. Islington council claim the speed cut will reduce accidents, congestion and pollution, although this is highly disputed by motorist groups.
Some groups have stated the complete opposite. Most believe we will see a rise in accidents as drivers constantly take their eyes off the road to check they are not exceeding this unfamiliar speed. The AA warned that a 20mph limit for London would hamper travel. It wants councils to introduce such zones only in severely sensitive or residential areas.
Transport for London research found 20mph zones reduced casualties by 43 per cent and the number of fatal or serious casualties by 53 per cent. As there are currently no 20mph zones, perhaps TfL would like to explain where they did this research?
More than 150 miles of Islington's roads are to be affected, with motorists only able to reach 30mph on 15 out of 1420 streets in the borough. However, more than half of Islington's roads are already covered by 20mph limits.
Councillor Greg Foxsmith, Islington's environment spokesman, said, "We want streets where our kids can walk to school safely, where our cyclists can ride without risk, and where pollution levels are driven down. A blanket 20mph zone is a bold step, but it's what our residents want and deserve. The scheme has had cross-party support and widespread public backing."
Perhaps councillor Foxsmith would do better for the borough by reintroduction road safety training in schools and collages, to teach people how to be more responsible when crossing the road. Also, cyclists should only be allowed on the road once they have passed a cycling proficiency test. Every other form of transport using our roads have to pass some type of test, so why should cyclists be different. As for pollution, levels of dangerous particles from brake pads and shoes will now rise as driver brake more often to achieve the lower speed.
Signs have now been erected proclaiming the new limit, but the council rejected calls to enforce the limit with even more speed bumps. Islington already has one of the highest road hump counts in Greater London.
Roads run by Transport for London such as the A1 and Camden Road will continue with a 30mph limit. At present, TfL are just given other authorities the bullets to fire.
Islington is now putting pressure on neighbours with roads that share boarders but have come up against some resistance. However, Haringey’s environment chief Councillor Nilgun Canver said they had not ruled out the proposals “entirely”. She also added that as the number of accidents are relatively low along Stroud Green Road “we do not currently see the benefit of this proposal”.
Islington’s transport chief James Murray said: “We hope that once other boroughs see the benefit of the 20mph limit, it will be taken up further.”
The next boroughs in line to adopt the lower limit include Hackney, Southwark, Brent, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets and Merton.
Posted by Editorial at 10:15 AM