TfL to cut central London road speed limit to 20 mph

Transport for London (TfL) will go ahead with proposals to lower speed limits on TfL roads in central London after a positive response from the public consultation.

The move, mooted earlier this summer, will bring the limit in the Congestion Charge Zone down, on around 8.9 km of road. New 20 mph signage and road markings, as well as raised pedestrian crossings in seven locations are proposed. Speed cameras will be recalibrated and work will be undertaken largely at night, TfL said.

Out of 2,000 responses from the public, two thirds thought that the proposals would lead to more people cycling (59%). Half said it would have a positive impact on walking and 31% said more people would choose to walk. Four in ten said it would improve public transport too.

In the next five years, TfL will work with boroughs – which control many of the roads of London – to lower speed limits on the road network. There’s now a new Lower Speeds Toolkit for engineers and designers, which also recommends reallocating space for walking and cycling.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:“Every single death on London’s streets is one too many so I’m really pleased that Londoners have backed our plans to introduce a 20mph speed limit on TfL roads within the Congestion Charge Zone and at Aldgate Gyratory. By also bringing forward plans to lower speed limits in other parts London, we will help protect more people walking and cycling across our city.”

Penny Rees, Head of Network Sponsorship at TfL, said: “We know that lower speeds save lives, it’s that simple. As more and more people choose to walk and cycle around London we must reduce the risk of them being killed or seriously injured. It’s clear people agree that making our roads safer will encourage Londoners to travel in more active and sustainable ways.”

Jeremy Leach, London Campaign Co-ordinator for 20’s Plenty for Us, said: “This result shows how swiftly London is becoming a 20mph city. Londoners understand just how important it is to reduce the maximum speeds of vehicles if we are going to bring down road casualties and encourage more people to walk, cycle and use public transport. Most encouraging is the green light for lower speed limits on Red Route roads right across the capital and TfL’s commitment to make sure that as many drivers as possible stick to the 20mph limit.”

Victoria Lebrec, crash victim and Campaign Coordinator for RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims, said:“Speed not only makes a crash more serious, it also makes it much more likely to happen. At RoadPeace we see the devastating consequences of preventable crashes, and welcome TfL’s commitment to introducing 20mph speed limits on so many roads.”

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “The go-ahead for rollout of 20mph speed limits, widely accepted as the safest speed for places where people live, work and play, is fantastic news. Londoners have made it clear that they want to be able to move around in safe and healthy ways and reducing vehicle speeds is a simple, but effective, way of achieving this. We hope other authorities, including central government, follow London’s lead and make 20mph the default for urban areas.”