London speed limits to be cut to 20mph

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Published on 20 September 2019 by Mike Waters

Speed limits in London’s Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ) are to be cut to just 20mph early next year.

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that it will introduce a 20mph limit on roads in the Central London area covered by the Congestion Charge Zone in 2020. This will bring the CCZ’s speed limits into line with the majority of nearby London Boroughs.

Welcoming the announcement, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I'm really pleased that Londoners have backed our plans to introduce a 20mph speed limit on TfL roads within the Congestion Charge Zone and at Aldgate Gyratory. By also bringing forward plans to lower speed limits in other parts London, we will help protect more people walking and cycling across our city.”

However, the 20mph limit may be unnecessarily generous in practice. According to a TLRN Performance Report covering 2017-2018, the average speed of traffic from 7am-7pm across central London was a mere 7.4mph – which the report noted was also 0.2mph slower than the previous year-on-year’s average.

With average speeds already so low, it remains to be seen if these reduced speed limits will help improve public safety at all. London’s roads have proven particularly dangerous for motorcyclists, with five fatalities during just one week this July. As the BMF has previously reported, TfL admitted that “Figures show that motorcycle riders and their passengers accounted for 17 per cent of serious injuries and 20 per cent of all road fatalities in the capital during 2018, despite making up just one per cent of road traffic.”

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