Next month, Islington will become the first London Borough to introduce a 20mph speed limit on all residential streets. A 30mph limit will be retained on A roads in the borough.
The measure is designed to improve road safety and alleviate traffic congestion and pollution. Unlike existing 20mph zones within Islington, there will be no traffic calming measure, with signs and road markings highlighting the new speed limit.
Islington Cyclists Action Group has supported the council’s efforts towards implementing the lower limit, saying: “Lower speed limits turn streets into living spaces not sterile stretches of tarmac. They create and re-invigorate communities. They save lives. Lower speed limits smooth traffic low and cut pollution.”
According to the Islington Gazette, the introduction of a blanket 20mph speed limit across the borough was first proposed in February this year by Green Party Councillor Katie Dawson, who reportedly convinced the ruling Liberal Democrat and opposition Labour parties last February to set aside cash for the initiative in the 2009/10 budget.
Since then, the council has consulted with local residents, sending out more than 46,000 consultation documents to homes across the borough. Replies were received from nearly one in four of those households, 61% of which were in favour of the 20mph limit.
Greg Foxsmith, Islington Council's Liberal-Democrat executive member for environment, told the Islington Gazette: "A blanket 20mph zone is a bold step, but it's what our residents want and deserve."
The move to a 20mph speed limit is now expected to be followed by several other London boroughs. Similar measures have already been implemented elsewhere, with Oxford having introduced a 20mph limit on residential streets earlier this year and Glasgow City Council is considering following suit.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.