Transport for London has begun “local engagement” about its proposals for introducing speed limits of 20 miles per hour for roads it controls in eight more London boroughs as the latest stage of implementing Sadiq Khan’s Vision Zero policies for eliminating deaths and serious injuries on the capital’s transport network.
If the plans go ahead in full they will affect a total of 65 kilometres of road in the boroughs of Greenwich, Kensington & Chelsea, Lewisham, Southwark, Wandsworth, Merton, Bromley and Lambeth, including sections of the A205 South Circular, New Cross Road, Tower Bridge Road and Stockwell Road. Work could begin in September.
The move follows the launch last November of a similar consultation about bringing in 20 mph limits on 28 kilometres of roads in Camden, Islington, Hackney, Haringey and Tower Hamlets. Work has now begun on these programmes. The lower speed limit has already been in effect on 13.7 kilometres of TfL roads since February 2022, including all those within the central London Congestion Charge Zone since March 2020. The longer-term goal is to spread the 20 mph limit to 140 kilometres of TfL roads by May 2024.
The new speed limits would be accompanied by new signs and road markings and enforced by adjustments to existing speed cameras. TfL says it would work closely with the Metropolitan Police “to ensure that drivers understand and comply with” the new restriction.
TfL has responsibility for 580 kilometres (360 miles) of London’s road network – just five percent of it, though it carries up to 30 per cent of London’s road traffic. All of London boroughs have some 20 mph limits on roads they manage, though the amount of coverage varies from comprehensive in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea to around 10 per cent in Barnet and Bromley.
According to the most recent TfL Travel in London report, published at the end of last year, the total number of people killed or recorded as seriously injured in road traffic collisions on all of London’s roads during 2021 was 3,580, down from a 2017-2019 baseline annual figure of 3,950 and a baseline annual 6,403 for 2005-2009 (page 112). TfL said last month that the number of collisions occurring on its roads where a 20 mph limit was already in effect had fallen.
The Mayor’s Vision Zero policies form part of his overall transport strategy and have the goal of eradicating all deaths and serious injuries from the entire transport network by 2041, with a primary focus on London’s streets. A Vision Zero Action Plan includes the “widespread introduction of new lower speed limits” along with redesigning junctions and new safety standards for buses and heavy goods vehicles.
TfL’s local engagement page for its plans to lower speed limits is here.
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