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Sadiq Khan to push 20mph roads as part of his Vision Zero for London

All roads in Congestion Charge Zone to have lower speed limit under plans revealed today

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that all routes belonging to the Transport for London (TfL) Road Network lying inside the capital’s Congestion Charging Zone will be subject to a 20 miles per hour speed limit as part of his ‘Vision Zero’ to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on the capital’s roads. road deaths in the capital’s roads.

The Vision Zero Action Plan, published today by the mayor in partnership with TfL and the Metropolitan Police Service, also envisages new safety standards to be implemented for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and buses, and continuing to improve safety at dangerous junctions.

Each year, some 2,000 people are killed or seriously injured on Greater London’s roads and Khan has set TfL interim targets ahead of achieving Vision Zero by 2041. By 2022, the aim is to reduce the number of deaths or serious injuries by 65 per cent, and that by 2030 no-one will be killed in an incident involving a bus.

Today’s announcement was welcomed by Brake, which has long called for the adoption of Vison Zero and the implementation of 20 mile per hour speed limits as a way of slashing road traffic casualties.

The road safety charity’s director of campaigns, Joshua Harris, said: “With our cities getting ever more crowded, congestion on our roads increasing, and more people wanting safe cycling and walking options this strategy couldn’t be more timely and we warmly welcome the mayor’s plans.

“The Mayor is right to focus on speed reduction and the rollout of 20mph limits – simply put lower speeds save lives. If you are hit by a car at 30mph you are more likely to die, if you are hit at 20mph, you are more likely to survive.

“This stark fact should be reason enough for all to welcome the introduction of safe 20mph limits across the capital. London is setting an example the rest of the UK should follow and we urge the Government to make 20mph the default speed for built-up areas across the UK, helping make streets across the country safer and more welcoming.

“The Vision Zero approach adopted in London asserts that no road death or serious injury is inevitable, nor should it be tolerated. This is heartening for all road safety campaigners to hear, but this bold ambition must be backed by long-term and consistent action and so we look forward to working with the Mayor and TfL to ensure actions are achieved and targets met.”

The Congestion Charging Zone (below) covers only a small part of Central London – 21 square kilometres, equivalent to just 1.3 per cent of Greater London’s 1,569 square kilometres – but Khan has pledged to work with boroughs to have 20mph introduced as default elsewhere on the TfL Road Network by 2024 to cover a total of 150 kilometres of the capital’s Red Routes.

London Congestion Charge Zone via TfL and Google Maps.JPG

He said: “I don’t accept that deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads are something we just have to put up with. Every single death or serious injury results in heartache and tragedy for those affected, and their loved ones.

“Our bold and far-reaching plans being announced today are some of most ambitious in the world, and start from the basis that no death or serious injury on London’s roads should be treated as acceptable or inevitable.

“At the heart of our plans is reducing the dangers of speeding vehicles across London, which is why we’re proposing a new general speed limit of 20mph on TfL roads within the Congestion Charging Zone - protecting cyclists, pedestrians and all road users in the busiest part of the capital.

“The design of vehicles on London’s road is also crucial. That’s why we’re using the latest safety technologies to transform London’s buses and bringing in a world-leading safety standard for lorries, alongside investing record amounts in building new infrastructure to make walking and cycling a safe option in every part of the capital.”

Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, from the Metropolitan Police’s Road and Transport Policing Command, said: “The Met is working hard to reduce collisions and the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads.

“We will contribute towards Vision Zero by intensifying our focus on the most dangerous drivers through the enforcement of road traffic legislation; the use of intelligence-led activity in problem locations; and we will conduct highly visible roadside operations and police patrols throughout London to amplify the deterrent effect.”

He added: “We want to remind all road users of the importance of keeping themselves safe while driving. Excess speed is an undisputed contributor to road collisions in London, and the consequences of these collisions can be devastating for those involved, their families, and communities.”

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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46 comments

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jlebrech | 5 years ago
0 likes

just another excuse to punish faster riders

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fukawitribe replied to jlebrech | 5 years ago
1 like
jlebrech wrote:

just another excuse to punish faster riders

Cry me a river/

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Chris Hayes | 5 years ago
2 likes

Just enforce the speed limits that we have, Sadiq: especially on the rat runs circumventing major roads.  You can start by collecting a few grand in fines by parking one of your street-shy plods with a speed camera on Wapping High Street where white van drivers tear down the cobbles in a morning in an attempt to rejoin the A13 traffic closer to Tower Bridge.  But I guess 'London Mayor enforces speed limit' doesn't quite grab the headlines, does it?

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Bill H | 5 years ago
3 likes

@ Burt and Brooksby, as I recall society has been asking folk to drive nicely since the 1930's and it's made sweet FA difference. 

I am currently in Japan where good manners and rule obeying are an art form, yet even here folk in their Chelsea tractors run red lights. There's something about driving that brings out the worst in people, myself included.

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SteveAustin | 5 years ago
0 likes

i can see some sense. but this is just a way to fine people, and raise lots of money..

if this comes in, expect to see speed cameras everywhere in london within days

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Htc replied to SteveAustin | 5 years ago
3 likes
SteveAustin wrote:

i can see some sense. but this is just a way to fine people, and raise lots of money..

if this comes in, expect to see speed cameras everywhere in london within days

 

I disagree - this is one of the few cases where reducing speed limits really could have a significant impact on the number of fatalities, remember: “If you are hit by a car at 30mph you are more likely to die, if you are hit at 20mph, you are more likely to survive”.

Outside of cities I completely agree with you, speed cameras should only be placed near known accident blackspots where evidence can be used to show that reducing speeds would reduce the severity or frequency of collisions alongside other preventative measures such as road re-designs..

 

 

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Htc replied to SteveAustin | 5 years ago
0 likes
SteveAustin wrote:

i can see some sense. but this is just a way to fine people, and raise lots of money..

if this comes in, expect to see speed cameras everywhere in london within days

 

I disagree - this is one of the few cases where reducing speed limits really could have a significant impact on the number of fatalities, remember: “If you are hit by a car at 30mph you are more likely to die, if you are hit at 20mph, you are more likely to survive”.

Outside of cities I completely agree with you, speed cameras should only be placed near known accident blackspots where evidence can be used to show that reducing speeds would reduce the severity or frequency of collisions alongside other preventative measures such as road re-designs..

 

 

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Htc replied to SteveAustin | 5 years ago
0 likes
SteveAustin wrote:

i can see some sense. but this is just a way to fine people, and raise lots of money..

if this comes in, expect to see speed cameras everywhere in london within days

 

I disagree - this is one of the few cases where reducing speed limits really could have a significant impact on the number of fatalities, remember: “If you are hit by a car at 30mph you are more likely to die, if you are hit at 20mph, you are more likely to survive”.

Outside of cities I completely agree with you, speed cameras should only be placed near known accident blackspots where evidence can be used to show that reducing speeds would reduce the severity or frequency of collisions alongside other preventative measures such as road re-designs..

 

 

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vonhelmet replied to SteveAustin | 5 years ago
6 likes
SteveAustin wrote:

i can see some sense. but this is just a way to fine people, and raise lots of money..

if this comes in, expect to see speed cameras everywhere in london within days

I’m not seeing a downside here.

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brooksby replied to SteveAustin | 5 years ago
3 likes
SteveAustin wrote:

i can see some sense. but this is just a way to fine people, and raise lots of money..

if this comes in, expect to see speed cameras everywhere in london within days

So what? I'm just throwing this out to the room, just thinking aloud, but why do you think it's a problem? speeding fines are not unavoidable: all you have to do is NOT BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT! (Sorry for shouting, but it just seems so obvious, doesn't it?)

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burtthebike replied to brooksby | 5 years ago
3 likes
brooksby wrote:
SteveAustin wrote:

i can see some sense. but this is just a way to fine people, and raise lots of money..

if this comes in, expect to see speed cameras everywhere in london within days

So what? I'm just throwing this out to the room, just thinking aloud, but why do you think it's a problem? speeding fines are not unavoidable: all you have to do is NOT BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT! (Sorry for shouting, but it just seems so obvious, doesn't it?)

Exactly.  Somehow just liking this post wasn't enough.  If we can get motorists to obey the law about speeding, perhaps they'll start following the other laws too, and stop killing us.

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Bill H | 5 years ago
1 like

I would be a lot happier if Khan cracked on and implemented his earlier commitments rather than making further empty promises.

There is a lot more to London than the congestion zone and the outer-boroughs have far more to gain from a speed reduction than the City. As already mentioned, the average speeds in the zone are already well under 20mph and without additional resources the police are not going to be catching the boy racers who speed thru' at night.

If Khan wants to make a real impact in central London he should resurrect the western extension of the congestion zone. It was killed off by Boris in a fit of pique. Setting aside the pollution benefits, just imagine the reaction by Westminster council!

 

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FlyingPenguin | 5 years ago
8 likes

Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the 20mph limits, the collective angst of the Daily Mail Gammon Brigade will be something truly special to behold.

 

Not that I would ever take pleasure in winding up motorists...  24

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ChancerOnABike | 5 years ago
1 like

I've just come back from Finland. 40kmh limit in towns, and generally lower speed limits everywhere. 2015 only had 34 fatalities on the road, that's 7 times lower than the UK per capita. 

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vonhelmet replied to ChancerOnABike | 5 years ago
4 likes
ChancerOnABike wrote:

I've just come back from Finland. 40kmh limit in towns, and generally lower speed limits everywhere. 2015 only had 34 fatalities on the road, that's 7 times lower than the UK per capita. 

I love Finland - my mum is Finnish - but it’s hardly a fair comparison. Their population density, even in their cities, is way lower than ours.

Good cycle paths, mind you, but that’s what you get with grown up socialism.

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Dnnnnnn replied to ChancerOnABike | 5 years ago
1 like
ChancerOnABike wrote:

I've just come back from Finland. 40kmh limit in towns, and generally lower speed limits everywhere. 2015 only had 34 fatalities on the road, that's 7 times lower than the UK per capita. 

Not sure exactly stats you're quoting but these say 266 deaths for all road users in Finland and a per capita rate of 46 vs the UK's 28 per million population.

www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras52-international-comparisons

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yourealwaysbe replied to Dnnnnnn | 5 years ago
1 like
Duncann wrote:

a per capita rate of 46 vs the UK's 28 per million population.

46 per capita is a little brutal  3

(* you mean per million, i know)

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BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago
4 likes

without policing it's meaningless. Why not force motorised road users to have to pay for a retro fitted system that means when they enter a given speed zone this forces the vehicle to slow BEFORE it enters. this is the only viable way to ensure those with the potential to kill and maim to obey speed limits. Then all we need is for government to rip up the national speed 'targets' and completely vhange how we allow motorists to operate large masses at ridiculous speeds.

40mph should be the new national single lane speed limit IF it is applicable, many roads should be 30mph zones, 50mph for dual carriageways and keepat 70 for motorways. 20mph blanket for all built up areas.

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clayfit replied to BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago
1 like
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

without policing it's meaningless. Why not force motorised road users to have to pay for a retro fitted system that means when they enter a given speed zone this forces the vehicle to slow BEFORE it enters. this is the only viable way to ensure those with the potential to kill and maim to obey speed limits. Then all we need is for government to rip up the national speed 'targets' and completely vhange how we allow motorists to operate large masses at ridiculous speeds.

40mph should be the new national single lane speed limit IF it is applicable, many roads should be 30mph zones, 50mph for dual carriageways and keepat 70 for motorways. 20mph blanket for all built up areas.

Absolutely right.  I'm fed up with knobs thinking that 60+ is OK on narrow roads.

Towns:  20
Single Track roads:  30
All other single carriageways: 40 or 50
Dual carriageways: 50 or 60

but I think that 80 or 85 would be OK on motorways.  Works in other countries.

Plus let's see enforcement again- you never see a plod in Northamptonshire, the cameras are all turned off, it's no wonder people drive like pricks.

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don simon fbpe replied to clayfit | 5 years ago
1 like
clayfit wrote:
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

without policing it's meaningless. Why not force motorised road users to have to pay for a retro fitted system that means when they enter a given speed zone this forces the vehicle to slow BEFORE it enters. this is the only viable way to ensure those with the potential to kill and maim to obey speed limits. Then all we need is for government to rip up the national speed 'targets' and completely vhange how we allow motorists to operate large masses at ridiculous speeds.

40mph should be the new national single lane speed limit IF it is applicable, many roads should be 30mph zones, 50mph for dual carriageways and keepat 70 for motorways. 20mph blanket for all built up areas.

Absolutely right.  I'm fed up with knobs thinking that 60+ is OK on narrow roads.

Towns:  20
Single Track roads:  30
All other single carriageways: 40 or 50
Dual carriageways: 50 or 60

but I think that 80 or 85 would be OK on motorways.  Works in other countries.

Plus let's see enforcement again- you never see a plod in Northamptonshire, the cameras are all turned off, it's no wonder people drive like pricks.

Careful what you ask for. Enforced 5mph for cyclists on shared paths would cause me some upset. 10mph in town/city centres, thanks Charlie, etc.

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billymansell | 5 years ago
4 likes

Thay also need to have raised pedestrian crossings and paths across side junctions to prioritise pedestrians over motor vehicles, forcing vehicles to slow.

Just putting up speed signs or painting on the road will achieve next to nothing.

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burtthebike | 5 years ago
0 likes

double post.

 

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burtthebike | 5 years ago
5 likes

Good idea, and although it won't make drivers keep to 20mph because it won't be enforced, evidence from other places shows that it does reduce motor speeds and the risk to pedestrians and cyclists.  We can all look forward to a new bunch of cycle hate letters etc, demanding that the law applies to cyclists as they were driving at over 20mph and they were passed by a cyclist.

Nice to see Brake actually put out a statement which doesn't start by demanding a helmet law.

 

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OldRidgeback replied to burtthebike | 5 years ago
2 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Good idea, and although it won't make drivers keep to 20mph because it won't be enforced, evidence from other places shows that it does reduce motor speeds and the risk to pedestrians and cyclists.  We can all look forward to a new bunch of cycle hate letters etc, demanding that the law applies to cyclists as they were driving at over 20mph and they were passed by a cyclist.

Nice to see Brake actually put out a statement which doesn't start by demanding a helmet law.

 

 

I use a few 20mph roads on my regular cycle/motorcycle commutes in London. One of them goes right past Herne Hill Velodrome (Burbage Road) and given the speed bumps, anyone in a vehicle is stupid to go faster anyway as higher speeds beat the hell out of your suspension. I trundle along there at 20mph in the car or on my motorbikes but it's of note how many people will tailgate you or try and overtake, because they're too impatient to drive slowly and don't care about beating the crap out of their vehicle. I was nearly taken out by some moron in an oncoming 4x4 the other day who decided to overtake some cyclists, despite the fact she was on the curved bit of Burbage Road nearest to Dulwich Park and couldn't see ahead properly. I had to swerve my motorbike to avoid being flattened. The irony of course being that the cyclists would've caught her up at the roundabout because of the cars waiting to turn.

I've had numerous close pass incidents while cycling/motorcycling along Burbage Road (one even had two bikes on top of his car). You'd think people driving there in particular would have more sense.

The 20mph ruling isn't a bad one, especially for sidestreets or roads running past schools or narrow roads or the like. But there are some wide busy roads with enough space where drivers simply won't stick to 20mph, unless the limits are enforced. And to be honest, I can see why people will get frustrated with 20mph limits on some stretches.

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Awavey replied to OldRidgeback | 5 years ago
0 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:

I use a few 20mph roads on my regular cycle/motorcycle commutes in London. One of them goes right past Herne Hill Velodrome (Burbage Road) and given the speed bumps, anyone in a vehicle is stupid to go faster anyway as higher speeds beat the hell out of your suspension.

 

that as maybe, but Ive lived on 20mph road with speed bumps for long enough to see and experience very few remotely care about the damage they are doing to their vehicles suspension by hitting these bumps at 30mph+, maybe they dont even understand the link or replace their cars on another credit scheme before the problem gets too bad I dont know.

 

I do know though if people actually read this vision zero action plan, theyll see its only a set of proposals and ambitions with timelines extending into the 2040s in one case, and that TfL will "engage with stakeholders including local authorities" to discuss the proposals to lower speed limits to 20mph on . 

Its not a "we WILL be doing this, get with our programme" plan by any stretch of the imagination. so the difference between this and Manchesters recent plan for cycling/pedestrians is stark and very obvious IMO.

and thats why there is criticism, as we should be beyond the point of being wowed by pretty power point presentations with graphs and fancy booklets, and more talking shops, and more ambitions and more promises, we need to start building things,need to start changing things, need to start saving peoples lives, now, not 23 years from now. Just Do It to coin a slogan

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brooksby replied to burtthebike | 5 years ago
1 like
burtthebike wrote:

Nice to see Brake actually put out a statement which doesn't start by demanding a helmet law.

Maybe that bit got omitted from their published statement and they're really pi$$ed off about it  3

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muppetkeeper | 5 years ago
2 likes

Isn't the average speed in that area about 9mph anyway?

 

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OldRidgeback replied to muppetkeeper | 5 years ago
4 likes
muppetkeeper wrote:

Isn't the average speed in that area about 9mph anyway?

 

 

I think it's down to 8mph now.

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flobble replied to OldRidgeback | 5 years ago
4 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:
muppetkeeper wrote:

Isn't the average speed in that area about 9mph anyway?

 

 

I think it's down to 8mph now.

So if I drive the full length of Oxford Street at 150mph, and then sit in a traffic jam for 57 minutes, my average speed is less than 8mph. Therefore, no need to enforce speed limits less than 150mph.

Hmmm.

Yes I know this is nonsense, just pointing out the irrelevance of average speeds vs speed limits.

20mph limit is a good idea. Hopefully reduces the repeated acceleration to max speed, followed by slamming on of brakes at every traffic light/jam/junction.

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muppetkeeper replied to flobble | 5 years ago
2 likes
flobble wrote:
OldRidgeback wrote:
muppetkeeper wrote:

Isn't the average speed in that area about 9mph anyway?

 

 

I think it's down to 8mph now.

So if I drive the full length of Oxford Street at 150mph, and then sit in a traffic jam for 57 minutes, my average speed is less than 8mph. Therefore, no need to enforce speed limits less than 150mph.

Hmmm.

Yes I know this is nonsense, just pointing out the irrelevance of average speeds vs speed limits.

20mph limit is a good idea. Hopefully reduces the repeated acceleration to max speed, followed by slamming on of brakes at every traffic light/jam/junction.

Not entirely irrelevant in the real world.
Maybe a little flow dynamics in your education would help. It has been shown real world that lowering the speed limit can increase the average speed, which is why we have all of those lovely smart motorways.

Setting the max to 50 means fewer acceleration and deceleration bubbles and their knock on effect.
If you want to be a smart ass and comment on an obvious joke, make sure you don't do it with an Engineer, cos we know everything.  (That's another joke by the way, we only know almost everything.)

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