London Evening Standard)
Tuesday 24 July 2018 08:42
The first changes will happen on “Red Routes” inside the congestion charge zone – roads such as the Victoria Embankment, Millbank, Albert Embankment and Blackfriars Road.
These main roads – almost nine miles in total – will have their speed reduced from 30mph to 20mph before Mr Khan’s first mayoral term ends in May 2020.
The remainder of the changes – which will affect 37 suburban town centres – will be introduced between 2019 and 2024.
Speed cameras will be recalibrated and police will mount random patrols in high-risk areas.
The move, across more than 90 miles of main roads under Transport for London control, will complement the numerous 20mph zones already introduced by the boroughs.
It is the boldest sign to date of the Mayor’s adoption of a “Vision Zero” approach to reducing road casualties and fatalities in London.
The aim is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on London roads by 65 per cent by 2022. By 2030, the aim is for no-one to be killed on or by a bus. Road casualties should be zero by 2041.
In 2016 a total of 116 people were killed and 2,385 seriously injured. TfL figures published last night suggest a significant increase in road deaths last year, up 13 per cent year-on-year to 133.
TfL says that an average of two people are killed or seriously injured every day by drivers going too fast.
Mr Khan said: “I don’t accept that deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads are something we just have to put up with. Every single death or serious injury results in heartache and tragedy for those affected, and their loved ones.
“Our bold and far-reaching plans being announced today are some of most ambitious in the world, and start from the basis that no death or serious injury on London’s roads should be treated as acceptable or inevitable.
“At the heart of our plans is reducing the dangers of speeding vehicles across London, which is why we’re proposing a new general speed limit of 20mph on TfL roads within the Congestion Charging Zone – protecting cyclists, pedestrians and all road users in the busiest part of the capital.”
Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, from the Met’s road and transport policing command, said: “We will contribute towards Vision Zero by intensifying our focus on the most dangerous drivers through the enforcement of road traffic legislation; the use of intelligence-led activity in problem locations; and we will conduct highly visible roadside operations and police patrols throughout London to amplify the deterrent effect.
“Excess speed is an undisputed contributor to road collisions in London, and the consequences of these collisions can be devastating for those involved, their families, and communities.”
Nick Simmons, chief executive of RoadPeace, which represents road victims and their families, said: “We see every day the devastation that road collisions cause. We… are delighted to see TfL committing to Vision Zero.”
According to TfL, the average daytime speed of vehicles in central London is 8mph. Edmund King, AA president, said: “Traffic speeds in central London really haven’t changed much since the horse and cart some 100 years ago. Most drivers would be delighted if they could drive at 20mph across London during the day but in reality traffic speeds are less than half of that.
“However speeds do vary between day and night so perhaps the 20mph zone should only apply when the Congestion Charge applies: 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.”