London’s Congestion Charge Zone to have a 20mph speed limit from next week

Roads within the London Congestion Charge Zone will have a 20mph speed limit from Monday 2 March as part of the Mayor’s efforts to cut road deaths and serious injuries in the capital, Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed today.

All 5.5 miles of roads within the charging zone – which covers the same roads as the Ultra Low Emission Zone – will have the limit cut to 20mph and all speed cameras re-calibrated in time to enforce it next week.

Drivers caught speeding by automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras in central London will receive three penalty points on their driving licence and a fine of £100.

New limit: Every road within central London’s Congestion Charge Zone will have a 20mph limit from Monday 2 March 2020, TfL has confirmed today

Announcing the news today, London mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘I am absolutely determined to do everything I can to eradicate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads and these new measures are a vital step along the way to helping us to achieve this.

‘By cutting speed limits on TfL’s roads within the Congestion Zone we are saving lives, while at the same time making our streets more appealing for Londoners to walk and cycle around the capital.’

According to TfL’s own figures, speed is a factor in around 37 per cent of collisions in London where a person dies or is seriously injured.

Figures from 2016, 2017 and 2018 show 131 people were killed in speed-related collisions on London’s streets. A further 2,256 people were reported as seriously injured in collisions where speed was recorded as a contributory factor.

The new limit was first announced back in September following a public consultation related to reducing casualty statistics in central London.

Mr Khan said at the time that the lower limits would be enforced from May 2020, but has now fast-tracked the introduction by two months. 

More than 2,000 members of the public responded to the proposal, receiving mixed opinions.

Around half of those surveyed said a lower speed limit would have a positive impact on the number of people who choose to walk and three in five said it would boost cycling numbers.

However, when asked if they would ditch their cars, less than a third said a 20mph limit would result in them travelling across the capital by foot.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said he is 'absolutely determined to do everything I can to eradicate all deaths and serious injuries' on London’s roads

London mayor Sadiq Khan said he is ‘absolutely determined to do everything I can to eradicate all deaths and serious injuries’ on London’s roads

Transport for London will introduce 20mph speed limits on all roads inside the capital's Congestion Charge Zone - and Ultra Low Emission Zone

Transport for London will introduce 20mph speed limits on all roads inside the capital’s Congestion Charge Zone – and Ultra Low Emission Zone

The changes mean that that two fifths (39 per cent) of London streets will have 20mph limits in place

The changes mean that that two fifths (39 per cent) of London streets will have 20mph limits in place

What happens now? 

TfL is now implementing new signage and road markings in preparation for the lower speed limits from Monday and is also adding raised pedestrian crossings.

This congestion zone covers 39 per cent of all London roads. 

Speed cameras are also being calibrated to the new limit and will be ready to catch motorists who exceed it from the introduction date.

There were almost 2,000 responses to the consultation for the introduction of 20mph speed limits last year, according to TfL

There were almost 2,000 responses to the consultation for the introduction of 20mph speed limits last year, according to TfL

This is likely to spark an increase in speeding offences, with police in London already processing around 160,000 speeding tickets each year – 42,000 of which are for offences committed in 20mph zones. 

To crack down on these motorists, TfL has also confirmed it and Metropolitan Police will have a new ‘speed enforcement team’ setup as part of a joint commitment.

This team will specifically target ‘dangerous, careless and illegal driving across London’s roads’.

From April, it will identify speeding drivers across the capital, including within the new 20mph speed limits.

‘The team will be deployed to known high-risk locations for speeding and will respond to stakeholder and community concerns about drivers speeding in their area, equipped with the newest laser video speed enforcement technology,’ a TfL statement confirmed.

Andy Cox, Metropolitan Police detective superintendent, added: ‘Speed limits are designed to keep road users safe, they are limits not targets and the law should be adhered to.

‘Excessive speed unfortunately remains a common cause of serious and fatal collisions across London and the consequences can be devastating for those involved and their families.

‘Safe speeds are key to achieving the Vision Zero ambition and it’s vital that those driving or riding on our roads respect the law on speed limits. We will actively target speeding and dangerous drivers and ensure they are dealt with robustly.’

Central London roads to get 20mph limits

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