Public consultation results in 20mph speed limit for all TfL-managed roads inside the Congestion Charge zone by early 2020
All roads managed by Transport for London (TfL) inside the London Congestion Charge zone are to get a 20mph speed limit by early 2020, with speed cameras issuing minimum penalties of three points and £100 fines to drivers caught breaking the limits.
The news comes as TfL and the Mayor of London confirmed a public consultation into applying a universal 20mph limit to main roads in the Congestion Charge zone had been approved. Police in London process around 160,000 speeding tickets each year, 42,000 of which are for offences committed in 20mph zones. The public consultation received more than 2,000 responses, with mixed opinions. Roughly half of respondents said the 20mph limit would have a positive impact on people walking, but only 31 per cent believed it would result in many more people choosing to travel on foot. Additionally, 59 per cent of respondents thought the plan would lead to more people cycling.
Only four in ten people believed the new limit would have a positive effect on public transport. TfL admitted in its report that it anticipates a “slight” increase in journey times on London Buses during off-peak periods, but claimed that research has shown the impact to be “negligible”.
With the lower speed limit will come new signage and road markings, as well as raised pedestrian crossings in seven locations where a large number of people regularly walk.
Although TfL hopes the new limit will decrease the number of casualties on the capital’s roads, a study of 13 20mph zones by Bath and North East Somerset Council in 2017 revealed that the rate of people killed or seriously injured actually increased in seven of them under the lower limit.
The study found the 20mph limit only made drivers decrease their speed by 1.3mph on average. Another study by the Department of Transport in 2018, which looked at nine 20mph zones in London, produced the same figure, with the suggestion that 86 per cent of drivers break 20mph limits.