Westminster Opposes Camden's 20mph Limit in Boundary Streets

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Camden is currently consulting the public about introducing a 20mph limit on all the roads it manages in the borough. This excludes 'red routes', though Camden High Street already has a 20mph limit.

Camden expects that a 20 mph speed limit will reduce the number of people killed and injured on its roads. It also believes that making roads safer and more pleasant to use will encourage more walking and cycling.

Westminster has always opposed the concept of a 20mph limit. In discussions with us, the council has maintained that, because such a limit could not be enforced, it would be a waste of public money to introduce one.

An interesting issue therefore arises in streets that form the boundary between Camden and Westminster. There a suprising number of these, including Shelton Street, Charing Cross Road, Cleveland Street –and the appopriately named Boundary Road. Is there the mind-blowing prospect of different speed limits on each side of the road and – in two-way streets – for traffic travelling in each direction?

In a recent letter to local stakeholders, Martin Low, Westminster's City Commissioner of Transportation, expressed concern that ‘ all roads that front property, land etc that are within the City of Westminster remain as a 30mph limit.’ He also urged stakeholders to consider the proposals and spare the time to complete a questionnaire.

Camden's consultation runs till 25th March and you can make your views known at https://consultations.wearecamden.org/culture-environment/borough-wide-20mph-speed-limit/consultation/intro/view


Clearly the reply to Westminster's argument is to show them the statistics that prove that even a non-enforced 20mph limit has some effect on speed. Though in fact, such limits are easy to enforce with time/distance cameras...

Here's the evidence from Portsmouth, conducted for the DfT. There's both a reduction in casualties, and a reduction in average speeds, following the introduction of non-enforced 20mph limits.



This post was edited by baron samedi at 7:22pm 24 February 2013.

20 mph zones tend to be self regulating. Yes if the roads are clear and the driver decides to ignore the limit then it is unenforceable. However most roads are not clear and a lot of drivers obey the 20 mph limit thus forcing the others to drive at that speed as well. It only takes one driver to drive at 20mph to slow the whole traffic flow down.

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The loss of the traffic lane would then allow a compact roundabout to be provided which would operate more slowly, but more predictably for all.


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The article shows an existing lorry (one of the safer designs currently on the street), and explains how it could be vastly improved to pose less of a threat to vulnerable road users.  

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