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More London boroughs to become ’20mph zones’

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Five more areas of London are to introduce a 20 miles per hour speed limit, following what city leaders call a ‘dramatic fall’ in road traffic collisions in boroughs already with a lower limit.

Transport for London (TfL) says that lowering speed limits have a major effect on the number of deaths and injuries in vulnerable road users – notably children.

Lowering speed limits is a key part of the Mayor of London’s ‘Vision Zero’ goal, aimed at helping to to eliminate death and serious injury from London’s transport network and to enable more walking and cycling in the capital.

New data published by TfL shows a significant reduction in the number of collisions since the implementation in March 2020 of 20mph speed limits on key roads in the city. Collisions have fallen by a quarter, from 406 to 304), as have collisions resulting in death or serious injury (from 94 to 71).

‘Vison Zero’

From March, there will be a new 20mph speed limit in March on over 28km of roads in the boroughs of Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Haringey.

Penny Rees, Head of Healthy Streets Investment at TfL, said: “It’s brilliant to see the huge impact the introduction of 20mph speed limits has had on road safety around London.

“We are determined to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from London’s roads in line with our Vision Zero goal, and this data proves that lowering speeds is crucial to achieving this goal. 20mph speed limits not only save lives, but also encourage Londoners to travel in more active and sustainable ways.

Jeremy Leach, London campaign co-ordinator for 20’s Plenty for Us, added: ’This research underlines once again the importance of reducing vehicle speeds to a maximum of 20mph in built-up areas. Injuries are reduced and more people can feel safe to walk and cycle. TfL is right to be rolling out more 20mph limits on the roads that it manages and to be calling for the default speed limit on all residential roads in London to be changed to 20mph.”

As recently reported in Child in the City, the introduction of a new ‘default’ 20mph national speed – and with it  a safer and healthier environment for children – could become a reality. A draft government planning report, Manual for Streets, says the aim should be for a speed limit of 20mph in urban environments, and in particular residential streets.

This all ties in with the growing popularity in London and other cities of the concept of ‘School Streets’, where motor vehicles are effectively banned around a school, to ensure the safety of youngsters on their way to and from school.

Author: Simon Weedy

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