More and more roads in the UK are to have their speed limits reduced to 20mph, with speed cameras upgraded to catch speeding offenders.
Already, 20mph zones have been introduced in places like Manchester, Slough, Cambridge, Derby and Croydon, with councils across the country planning on rolling out more limits.
In London alone, Mayor Boris Johnson has announced a list of eight locations in the capital where the new 20mph limit zones will be trialled, with Commercial Street in Tower Hamlets to be the first.
Eight new 20mph zones in London alone
Other parts of London due to get the new speed restrictions will include Westminster Bridge, Brixton town centre in the south of the city, and Earls Court Road in west London.
More than 170 miles of London roads have had the 20mph limit installed throughout the past year, with now almost a quarter of all roads in the capital having a maximum speed of 20mph.
The Mayor said: “Lower speeds have the potential to significantly improve road safety while enhancing the environment for walking and cycling.”
In addition to the new 20mph speed limits, speed cameras across the city are also due to be upgraded, which will provide the policy with new abilities to enforce the lower limit.
Neil Greig, policy director for the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), said that while motorists are largely in favour of 20mph zones near schools, councils must be careful to avoid “draconian enforcement”.
He said: “A recent IAM survey showed that 95% of drivers support 20mph outside schools but only 14% support the use of cameras to enforce them.
“Most drivers think signs are enough and support 20mph speed-awareness courses as the main way to deal with those who stray over the lower limit.”
Upgraded speed cameras introduced
Under the new regulations, the Department for Transport will be responsible for speed limits on motorways and major A roads, while local councils will look after the rest of the road network.
A spokesman for the Department said: “It’s up to local authorities if they want to bring in more 20mph limits. We can give advice to councils on speed limits. The limit for each road has to be realistic.”
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