20mph speed limit proposed for Camden Council

20mph speed limit proposed for Camden CouncilIn a bid to cut traffic accidents and encourage alternative modes of transportation - such as walking and cycling - Camden Council is considering plans for a 20mph speed limit across the borough.

According to the Londonist, the region already has a number of roads where the speed limit has been introduced. But at the moment, residents at properties to rent in Camden only have to deal with these when driving on smaller streets that don't see as much traffic. The new plan will extend the limit to all thoroughfares - including the main roads.

If plans go through, Camden won't be the first to establish this sort of regulation. That honour goes to Islington, which has required cars to travel no faster than 20mph since 2011.

However, the choice wasn't completely free of controversy. The Metropolitan Police said the blanket speed limit required additional patrols to enforce - something they are not able to provide - while neighbouring boroughs Hackney and Haringey had issues with roads that sat on their boundaries.

Meanwhile, the City of London and Enfield have also considered similar schemes.

And while the benefits of a 20mph speed limit have been expounded all over the capital, with proponents including potential mayoral candidate Christian Wolmar and Green Party assembly member Darren Johnson being just two of its supporters, critics have been questioning the effectiveness of such a system.

In fact, a study carried out by the Department for Transport (DfT) has shown an increase in road casualties in 20mph zones. In most cases this limit is reserved for areas with special requirements or particular risks, and the speed is self-enforcing due to traffic-calming measures being in place or additional police available to enforce it.

But a blanket speed limit covering an entire London Borough means such measures are impractical and the lack of enforcement could lead to additional problems.

"There's clearly a case for 20mph limits in some areas but it's not a magic bullet - better road user awareness, observation, signage and road planning all play a part in reducing casualties," said the Londonist, adding that improving cycling infrastructure would help to improve safety for cyclists.

A public meeting will be held on October 17th to cover to discuss ways to improve transport and road safety in Camden.

Posted by Chris Price

Published 12th October, 2012

© 2012 Estates IT Limited

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The scheme is hoped to reduce traffic accidents and encourage alternative modes of transportation.

20mph speed limit proposed for Camden Council

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