On 2nd March 2020 all streets within the square mile of London will have a speed limit of 20mph. This is part of a new Transport for London (TfL) initiative to make London’s roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users, a new 20mph speed limit has come into effect this week on key Central London within the Congestion Charging Zone to help reduce their chances of being seriously or fatally injured as a result of a speed related collision.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan supports the new initiative as a way of not only reducing speed related collisions, but also as a means to encourage people to use sustainable travel alternatives.

The Mayor commented that by cutting speed limits on TfL’s roads within the Congestion Zone will save lives, while at the same time making the streets more appealing for Londoners to walk and cycle around the capital and in turn has the added benefit to reduce congestion and pollution.

The initiative is supported by new signage and road markings, while raised pedestrian crossings are also being installed in locations of high footfall such as near Embankment and Tower Hill underground stations.

However, the speed limit has been criticised by RAC’s Head of Roads Policy Nicholas Lyes, as it does not focus on sensitive locations such as schools or accident hotspots, but has instead been applied in a lackadaisical fashion. Enforcing the speed limit or providing an incentive for drivers to slow down would help to ensure that the limit is kept to.

Despite the media coverage of the Capital’s implementation; already more than 20 urban authorities in the UK impose a 20mph speed limit on their streets including Southampton, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Annually, approximately 130 people are fatally injured due to speed related collisions in Central London, a statistic which the new policy will help to reduce this figure and make London a safer place to journey on foot or by bicycle.

TfL aims to implement the 20mph speed limit across all London Boroughs in the next five years, whilst also developing proposals to reduce speeds at a number of high risk areas, such as Edgware Road.

mode transport planning support the efforts of all Local Authorities efforts to create a safer, more sustainable environment for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users and car owners alike; and we look forward to seeing the other measures TfL adapts to make London’s streets become more efficient, safe, and sustainable and of course how this may impact on new development within the designated zones.