Blanket 20 MPH Speed Limit in Richmond

The London Borough of Richmond is proposing to introduce a speed limit of 20 mph on all roads in the borough with two exceptions. The only exceptions will be the A205 (South Circular) and A316 which are TfL controlled roads.

The claim is that this will reduce the number and severity of road accidents but that is contrary to the evidence that has been appearing on that issue – see https://abdlondon.wordpress.com/2018/09/15/20-mph-zones-are-a-waste-of-money-or-worse/

This will be a “signed-only” scheme so it is very unlikely to have any significant impact on traffic speeds (typically 1 mph on other such schemes which nobody can notice) and even less impact on casualty figures.

A public consultation is now open where you can give your views on this proposal. See: https://www.richmond.gov.uk/council/news/press_office/older_news/september_2018/consultation_on_borough_wide_20mph_limit_launched

Please make sure you respond as soon as possible!

Roger Lawson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Drivers_London

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Richmond 20-mph Speed Limits – Democracy Abandoned?

The London Borough of Richmond is considering changing its policy on wide-area 20 mph speed limits. Currently it has a policy whereby any area in the borough that desires a 20-mph limit has to submit a petition to the Council, signed by more than 50% of relevant residents. An eminently democratic and sensible policy one might think.

However, a recent council report says that the 15 such petitions submitted since 2014 when the current policy was adopted have consumed a considerable amount of officer time, and that “the requirement for a majority threshold can be difficult to achieve”. Does this not simply mean that it is minority pressure groups that advocate such limits and that the general public (including non-drivers) do not support them?

Regardless the Council is proposing to introduce a 20-mph limit on all roads except the TfL network. Part of the justification is to avoid confusion with neighbouring boroughs such as Hammersmith, Fulham, Wandsworth and Ealing who already have just limits. Note: some of these boroughs do not adjoin Richmond. They also justify their proposals on the grounds of improvements in road safety while being selective in the statistics they use to support this claim.

The cost of this proposed change is £600,000 for new signage, plus £50,000 for a borough-wide public consultation on the proposal. Money to fund both would likely come from TfL grants. Is this a cost-effective use of road safety budgets? Such expenditure has not proved to be worthwhile in other locations and the money would surely be better spent on other road safety measures.

Roger Lawson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Drivers_London

 

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