Transport for London (TfL) has announced plans to “accelerate” the introduction of new 20 mph speed limits in the capital to improve safety. The organisation, which is in charge of London’s major roads, says 220 km (137 miles) of roads in London will shift to a lower, 20 mph limit by 2024.
TfL says a total of 96 people were killed on London’s streets last year, while 2,974 serious injuries were recorded. And although that number represents a 52-percent reduction in deaths and injuries compared with the average for 2005 to 2009, it’s still some way short of mayor Sadiq Khan’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate road deaths in London by 2041.
As a result, the organisation has announced plans to “accelerate” the introduction of its “20 mph speed limit programme”, which will now see 137 miles of TfL-run roads have a 20 mph limit by 2024. That’s up from 80 km (50 miles) today and 35 km (22 miles) in 2016. And TfL will also recommend that the government collaborate on a pilot project to trial a default 20 mph limit on all residential roads in London.
At the same time, the Metropolitan Police Service will increase its speed enforcement operation, which will be aided by adding enough capacity to enforce up to one million offences by the 2024/25 financial year. The MPS will also get new technology to improve the effectiveness of enforcement, while Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will get new powers to stop speeding vehicles.
TfL claims the new measures are necessary because lowering speed limits “remains one of the most important things that can be done to reduce road danger”. The new measure has been revealed as part of a report into the Vision Zero initiative, which also included a pledge to improve the support for victims of road traffic accidents in London.
“Each and every death or serious injury on London's roads is a tragedy for those affected and their loved ones,” said the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. “I refuse to accept these terrible incidents are inevitable, which is why I am so keen to intensify the work we are already doing to reduce the number of deaths on our roads.
"This report contains bold and ambitious plans to change the way we use London's roads, with lower speed limits being introduced and more collaboration with London boroughs to improve dangerous junctions. But we are also looking to change people's behaviour, with the campaign launched today challenging people's views around road culture to make our roads safer for all, particularly more vulnerable users like pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
"We have already made some good progress - but we cannot be complacent. There is still much more to do to eradicate deaths and serious injuries from our streets."