Council to roll out 20mph speed limit on all main roads

Wheel progress: 20 mph speed limit to be rolled out. Photograph: Eleonore de Bonneval

Wheel progress: 20 mph speed limit to be rolled out. Photograph: Eleonore de Bonneval

In a bid to cut road injuries and deaths, Hackney Council plans a 20mph speed limit on all main roads in the borough.

The measure, which follows the introduction of a 20mph limit on residential roads in 2008, was cheered at the council’s budget meeting, and has been welcomed by Hackney cycling and pedestrian groups.

However a Conservative councillor has opposed the move, calling 20mph limits “useless”.

Commenting on whether the new speed limit would be enforceable Cllr Ozde, who represents the Springfield ward in Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said: “It’s not going to happen.”

“It just creates more congestion and more pollution,” he added.

Hackney People on Bikes issued a statement welcoming the news, but added “for these measures to be effective in reducing road deaths and injuries, they need to be rigorously enforced, something that has been notable by its absence to date.

“We do not feel a 20 mph limit alone is sufficient: there is still a requirement for properly designed protected space and the redesign of junctions to separate bikes from HGVs,” the cycling spokesperson added.

Tom Platt, London policy manager for the pedestrian charity Living Streets, added: “This is good news for everyone who lives, works or visits the borough.”

The council aims to reduce casualties by 10 per cent with the new limits, but admits more could be done.

“20mph zones have already cut casualties on our residential streets but we can always do more to prevent accidents,” said Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods.

“We will be working closely with the police to enforce where cars don’t adhere to the speed limit,” she added.

The previous 20mph limit was proposed by a Mischa Borris of the Green Party, seconded by Ian Sharer of the Liberal Democrats, and passed by the Labour-controlled council in 2008.

The new restrictions will include Amhurst Park, where a cyclist was killed in January, but will not apply to the borough’s ‘red routes’, which are controlled by Transport for London (TfL). These red routes include Homerton High Street, scene of another fatal crash earlier this year.

However, the council is in discussions with TfL to implement the 20mph speed limit on red routes and there are early indications that TfL is open to trialling it in some areas, including parts of the A10 up to Dalston.

Hackney residents are invited to have their say on the measures by visiting the council offices in Keltan House, Mare Street, or by calling 020 8356 2897.

The period of consultation will last from  9 – 29 March, and, if successful, they will come into force in the summer.