A blog from Cllr Claudia Webbe, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Islington Council –
Today, we welcomed another London Borough to the club of local authorities that are taking steps to make our roads safer for all road users and pedestrians.
At last night’s Cabinet Meeting in Lewisham, the Mayor, Sir Steve Bullock, and his colleagues voted to introduce 20mph speed limits on all the borough’s roads that the council controls.
I’m delighted that Lewisham has joined Islington and a number of other London Boroughs in adopting this progressive policy. Islington introduced our 20mph limit policy in 2013 and remains the only local authority to enforce the limits with our partners in the police.
Our decision wasn’t simply based on making our roads safer. It was also about improving the quality of life for people in our borough and making it a better place to live. This includes improving health outcomes by encouraging active travel and also working towards reducing air pollution in the borough.
Since launching our policy, we have worked with the police to firstly make drivers aware of the new limits and then – as I wrote about in October – we began enforcing the policy with the police.
But we mustn’t stop there.
We need the Mayor of London to take his responsibilities to make our roads safer seriously.
Currently, local councils can only implement 20mph zones on the roads we directly manage. The major routes through our communities are managed by Transport for London (TFL) and are known as ‘red routes’. So far the Mayor has refused to implement 20mph on red routes and we need to keep the pressure up on him to make him see sense.
I hope that we can continue to work across London to encourage more boroughs to adopt 20mph zones and to lobby the Mayor to adopt the safer limits on the roads TfL manages.