More speed limits: Is London going to outplay Paris?

on Jun 20, 2013

Good news from London: Just a couple of days after the deputy mayor of Paris announced his plans to widely enlarge 30 km/h speed limits, London authorities revealed that the British capital could get a 20mph speed limit introduced on all residential roads and high streets by 2020.

Motorists could be restricted within the Motorway 25 encircling Greater London  on all but a major arteries into the capital, says Isabel Dedring, deputy mayor for transport. A 20 mph speed limit is in place on 19 per cent on the capital´s roads at the time being.

Miss Dedring, who is in charge of the Roads Taskforce: “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 its absurd that this small road with cars bombing down it is ridiculous.”

The new steps towards a London-wide speed limit were published in the new action plan “Safe Roads for London”. It is expected that the 20 mph limits have benefits for road safety and improve quality of life for residents. In a last year the Department for Transport published advice on 20mph zones, saying there was evidence they reduced the number of collisions and serious injuries, improved the environment and encouraged walking and cycling.

Islington recently became the first London borough to impose a 20mph limit on all its roads. Other central London councils including Camden are consulting residents on the same borough-wide policy.

It is thought these central London councils will set off a chain reaction with Westminster, the City of London, Southwark and Lambeth possibly also adopting the 20mph limit.

Resistance to lowering the limit has been in outer London boroughs – with a zero tolerance for 20mph from Barnet  – with a higher proportion of motorists. But Ms Dedring commented: “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 in a borough 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.” (source: London Evening Standard, 7.6.2013)


See the original article “London could see 20mph speed limit on nearly all residential streets by 2020” (Evening Standard, 7.6.2013)

See the map of London and its Motorway M25

See the Action Plan “Safe Streets for London”, June 2013

Sign our European Citizens´ Initiative “30 km/h – making streets liveable!”




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