Green light for lower speed limits on borough’s B-roads

Published: Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Local people have comprehensively backed plans to introduce a 20mph speed limit on some of the borough’s busiest B-roads

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Following a detailed public consultation held at the end of last year, five roads are to be added to the existing borough-wide 20mph zone which has seen a lower limit in place in virtually every residential side street in Wandsworth since 2017.

The B-roads where the lower limits will soon apply are:

  • Silverthorne Road
  • Northcote Road
  • Bolingbroke Grove
  • Bellevue Road
  • Rectory Lane

These were not included when the main scheme was introduced in 2017, along with the main trunk roads that form part of Transport for London’s network of red routes.

But when local people were asked if they supported their inclusion in the borough-wide zone, the results for each showed a clear majority in favour. In some cases the vote in favour topped 83 per cent.

The council’s transport spokesman Cllr Paul Ellis said lowering the limits will help deliver a range of benefits.

He said: “Lower speed limits mean safer streets and this can encourage other forms of sustainable transport like cycling and walking.

“Accidents involving collisions between pedestrians and vehicles are three times less likely to be fatal if the speed of the impact is 20mph compared to 30mph.

“Research has shown that at 30mph, 55 per cent of collisions result in pedestrian fatalities while at 20mph this figure drops dramatically to just 17 per cent.

“And it could have a beneficial effect on air quality too. A study by Imperial College found that diesel vehicles with engines of between 1.4l and 2.0l produce fewer harmful emissions at 20mph than at 30mph while smaller petrol and diesel engine vehicles both generate fewer particulates when driven at this lower speed, so this change has the potential to bolster our efforts at improving some aspects of local air quality.”

Enforcement of speed limits is carried out by the Metropolitan Police, with the council working in support of their efforts. Any revenue generated by speed fines goes direct to HM Treasury not the town hall.

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Last year the council declared a climate emergency and set targets to become carbon neutral by 2030 and a zero-carbon organisation by 2050. To find out more about how the council is planning to tackle climate change visit the council’s website.