London Assembly refuse a speed limit of 20mph on London roads.

London Assembly refuse a speed limit of 20mph on London roads.

Request for Specific 20mph Speed Limit Targets Rejected by London Assembly

A proposal to establish specific targets for the introduction of more 20mph speed limits on London’s streets was voted down in City Hall during a debate in the London Assembly. The motion, discussed on Thursday, called on Mayor Sadiq Khan to “set a new target for speed limit reductions” to 20mph “on streets where people walk, live or shop,” primarily under the jurisdiction of borough councils.

Motion Presented by Green Assembly Member Siân Berry

The motion was presented by Green Assembly Member (AM) Siân Berry, who argued that it was a “sensible, policy-based” request aimed at helping the Assembly hold the mayor accountable for improving road safety in the capital. She highlighted that the mayor’s current transport strategy lacks specific targets for the introduction of more 20mph limits. Berry’s motion urged the mayor to “amend the relevant Transport for London (TfL) action plans to increase work with boroughs to achieve this target.”

Importance of 20mph Limits

Caroline Russell, a member of the Green Party, emphasized the importance of 20mph limits on certain roads, stating that the absence of such limits has resulted in preventable casualties. She argued that there would be “a human cost to inaction” on this issue. Mayor Khan’s transport strategy recognizes that “Lowering speeds is fundamental to reducing road danger because a person is five times less likely to be fatally injured if hit at 20mph than at 30mph.” The strategy also commits to continuing the implementation of 20mph limits on London’s streets.

Challenges in Implementing 20mph Limits

Labour AM Elly Baker expressed support for the motion’s spirit but explained that they could not vote in favor of it. This was because it is not within the mayor’s authority to compel borough authorities to introduce 20mph limits on roads under their control as part of meeting any target set. She clarified that Labour would abstain from voting on Ms. Berry’s proposal.

Mixed Support and Opposition

The Green Party and the Liberal Democrats supported the motion, while the Conservatives opposed it. Consequently, the motion did not secure majority support among those who voted. It’s worth noting that Tory mayoral candidate Susan Hall, running against Mayor Khan in the upcoming election, has stated her intention to remove 20mph limits from main roads if elected.

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