A 20mph limit is to be implemented across all roads in the City of London. The City of London’s full Court of Common Council has voted for an area wide 20mph limit to protect workers and visitors to the square mile. 20mph limits passed the Planning and Transportation Committee and Policy and Resources Committee in June after the City of London commissioned an air quality impact report from Imperial College. This showed no negative effects. Research also found that for the 1.6 mile widest City of London journey limits would only mean a maximum 25 seconds extra journey time. In July the Mayor’s Roads Task Force recommended that the all the central zone i.e. West End, The City and Southbank become 20mph across the whole area. A quarter of London boroughs now either have a total 20mph limits policy or are moving towards a 20mph speed limit, these include Islington, Camden, Southwark, Haringey, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Lambeth and now the City of London. Other boroughs are watching the City’s decision. More are expected to announce their own borough-wide 20mph limits soon.
This vote confirms the City’s move to borough-wide 20mph limits which will be highly cost effective. A relatively small investment in signage is predicted to reap road casualty savings of 9 per cent per year. Campaigners now hope it will send a message to the rest of the UK that a 20mph environment would encourage active travel and health, as well as providing better road safety. This vote sends a huge message to London and other global centres about the City’s aim to maintain its position in the top rank of global financial centres by prioritising road safety. Campaigners say that a 20mph limit creates an environment that encourages active travel and health through walking and cycling.
Jeremy Leach, ‘20’s Plenty for Us’ London Co-ordinator said: “A 20mph City of London says strongly that 20’s Plenty where people work. The City of London joins Paris and Tokyo in recognising that 20mph limits are better for business and health”. Rod King MBE ‘20’s Plenty for Us’ founder said: “The City of London has chosen wisely in civilising streets for people with 20mph limits. This highlights the need for our ‘It’s Time For 20’ call for a review of signage requirements to enable it to be far cheaper for local authorities to implement 20mph limits.” Time for 20 asks the Department for Transport to allow authorities to sign exceptions to 20mph limits which can halve the cost of implementing 20mph limits. Transport charity, ‘Sustrans’ London deputy director, Matt Winfield, said: ‘A 20mph limit is welcome wherever it is put in place across the country, but a postcode lottery where pedestrians and cyclists are safer in some areas than others is not acceptable – 20mph must become a national default speed limit.’