Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mayor Supportive of 20mph proposals

Last night I presented the recommendations of the Sustainable Development Committee's scrutiny into 'Alternatives to Individual Car Use' to the Mayor & Cabinet. See previous post for further details on this. One of our key recommendations was for Lewisham to bid to become the first 20mph borough in London and he gave a strong hint that he would consider applying for TfL funding to make this happen. This is great news; a default 20mph speed limit on our roads, would help to reclaim them as community spaces and be safer and healthier for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, shoppers and businesses. Mayor Steve Bullock's (more or less) exact words were:
"We have made a lot of progress in creating small 20mph zones in Lewisham. I have long been of the view that that we are really only going to crack this when we change the way people think. We need people to think the normal speed is 20mph, not 30mph. I think the Mayor of London's proposals have the potential to allow us to make that quantum leap. I would very much want Lewisham to be at the forefront of it."


rodk said...


Excellent news. Please keep me informed of progress.

Rod King

JohnnyWishbone said...

Isn't 20mph far too fast? Pedestrians can almost keep up with me when Im driving at that speed and surely thats potentially dangerous?

Let's make it 5mph. Think of the children...

tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim said...

What an excellent way to add to pollution. Cars are not efficient at this speed, will pollute more and use more fuel.
As for changing people's attitudes why not spend the money this will cost on educating people to look out for themselves rather than leaving responsibility for their stupid actions on the motorist and others.

Anonymous said...

A 20mph zone is not likely to increase congestion and pollution.

While the average vehicle travelling at a constant 30 mph will emit less CO2 than at a constant 20 mph, all drivers know this does not reflect normal urban driving conditions where speeds are far from constant. Research suggests a default 20mph limit would lead to a smoother traffic flow, with less braking and acceleration, and should therefore reduce emissions.

More fundamentally, a lower limit will encourage more people to walk or cycle, bringing health benefits and reduced air pollution and CO2 emissions. Other cities with area-wide 20mph limits, such as Graz in Austria, have seen significant shifts from cars to walking and cycling. And of course, a child hit at 20mph is more likely to live than if they are hit at 30mph.

I agree that road safety education is key and am pleased that Green London Assembly Member Jenny Jones, who is also the Mayor of London's Ambassador for Road Safety, has managed to get this pushed up the agenda and the budget for road safety doubled over the past 6 years. More details on her work in this area can be found here:

JohnnyWishbone said...

A 20mph zone is not likely to increase congestion...

Greetings from Planet Earth.

Why don't you just come out with it (like Livingstone did back in the GLA days) and say what you truly mean - You'd rather cars were simply banned outright.

I guess you'd prefer it if we were all lobotomized and handed back as automatons, ready for you to issue your petty edicts over.

Near enough every "fact" I've ever read regarding speed/safety has been scewed to fit the protagonists argument. Blanket 20mph across London is just another one of those. Try driving around at 20mph for any period of time. Outside schools - good idea. Why other roads though?

Instead, why not focus on educating todays yoof of the dangers of such pranks as playing chicken with traffic, football across roads, walking out on traffic, or simply standing in the road on their phones/ipod's as if wearing some kind of invisible armour, clearly uninterested in the tonne and a half steel boxes that have every right to exist on the tarmac - Pavements are there for a reason after all, likewise so are parks/playing fields.

You and other meddling do-gooder's like you bring nothing new to the table, whilst the rest of middle England has to suffer yet more and more utterly ridiculous propositions like this one.

What next? 10mph? It really wouldn't surprise me with your clear case of joined up thinking.

Phil Todd said...

Of course a 20mph speed restriction is going to increase pollution & congestion. It'll increase pollution because I'll never get out of 2nd gear. Guess what? 5th gear at 50mph gives me the best fuel efficiency in my car. Higher fuel efficiency = smaller pollution .

Secondly, as I won't be able to exceed 20mph, it'll take longer for me to get to where I'm going. Journeys that take longer = more time on the road = more cars on the road = more congestion.

You can't argue with science.

The Man Named After A Car said...

Goodness me, you people are really believing you're own hype.

Like the previous poster, listen to the science. 20mph has to be observed by buses as well, and as everyone (who has half an idea)knows no buses EVER do 20mph.

Would hardly call Jenny Jones rantings "work" either...

Get real Sue.

weggis said...

Rather than resort to "science" [where all evidence has to be interpreted through the belief system of the interpreter] can I ask the above contributors to resort to actually reading and understanding what is being proposed here.

"extending 20 mph speed limits to all RESIDENTIAL roads where practicable". OK it's in the earlier post to which Sue linked but it's not rocket science to click a link and READ it.

If this proposal does away with those infernal road humps [which is part of the plan] then I'm all for it. Who, apart from idiots, speeds in residential roads anyway?

JohnnyWishbone said...


Who has said anything whatsoever to condone speeding in residential areas? I do believe there are already laws prohibiting speeding. Simply reducing the limit arbitrarily isn't going to change the minds of those idiots that choose to speed.

With such a thought process I'm surprised you don't advocate a 5mph policy in Residential areas. Or possibly someone (council employed obviously) to walk with a flag in front of the nasty, polluting tins that carry the majority of us to work.

Finally, which part of the rather rudimentary scientific explanation do you have an issue with/does not tally with your "belief system".

weggis said...


Don’t like being challenged do you?

Yes we all have a belief system, but some are more flexible than others.

“You can't argue with science.” Phil Todd. But I can argue with the ill-informed and ridiculous conclusions above.

“Isn't 20mph far too fast? Pedestrians can almost keep up with me when Im driving at that speed” JohnnyWishbone

Walking pace is 4mph! If you are reasonably fit. Check it out. How many people do you know who can do a 4 minute mile on foot – that’s 15mph btw and how many athletes can do that. This is science. Want to challenge it?

“Blanket 20mph across London is just another one of those. Try driving around at 20mph for any period of time.” JohnnyWishbone

As I said the 20mph is aimed at residential Roads ONLY. It excludes Trunk roads, Main roads and Category 3 Roads. I don’t know about you but I have a tin can too and I spend very little time on residential roads. When I do it is at 20mph.

“It'll increase pollution because I'll never get out of 2nd gear” Phil Todd.
“Secondly, as I won't be able to exceed 20mph” Phil Todd

Only if he uses residential roads exclusively which I doubt. See previous comment.

“20mph has to be observed by buses as well, and as everyone (who has half an idea) knows no buses EVER do 20mph.” The man named after a car.

Buses in the main do not use residential roads: they will be unaffected.

So there you go. I am not going to respond to the other rather rude, aggressive and infantile assertions made above, they are not worth it and neither are you. I prefer rational discourse.


Adrian Windisch said...

Sue and Wegis are correct, residential roads are safer for pedestrians at 20 mph. Its not sensible to go much faster than this on these narrow roads anyway.

The 20mph zones are popular around the country already, there are many in Reading where I live, we are trying to extent it further.

Car drivers sometimes like to behave as if they own the road but its there for all people. Otherwise calm and well behaved people can turn into seflish aggresive drivers when sitting in those little boxes, lets hope that sitting in front of their computer doesnt have the same effect.