The 20mph sign has already covered more than 70% of Kingston roads, as the council continues to introduce new speed limits.
A proposal to slow down traffic in Kingston Hill was approved for implementation at Kingston and North Kingston Neighbourhood Committee meeting on November 28.
Kingston Council believes that this will bring a number of benefits to the community.
“It is considered that reducing the speed limit to 20 mph borough-wide will make our roads safer, reduce the number and severity of road casualties caused by excessive speed, and make our roads easier to use and attractive for our residents,” reads the proposal written by Principal Engineer Younes Hamade.
’20’s Plenty for Us’ is a voluntary organisation campaigning for 20mph to become the default urban speed limit in the UK.
According to them, driving at 30mph instead of 20mph in an urban environment doubles the fuel/energy consumption, reduces safety on the road, and doubles the noise.
Kingston Cycling Campaign welcomes the decision, as they believe it will encourage local people to ride bikes instead of driving.
“20 mph limits reduce speeds, increase safety and encourage walking and cycling,” they posted on X (formerly Twitter) immediately after the committee meeting.
But some people are sceptical about whether all drivers will follow this new rule.
“This is potentially good news, if there is enforcement to go with it. Writing 20 on the road will not persuade drivers to slow down,” a local resident commented on the post.
Lowering speed limits across London is part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero policy, which aims to see no one killed or seriously injured on roads by 2041.
According to Transport for London, a pedestrian hit at 30mph is five times more likely to die than at 20mph.
Besides safety, slower traffic will also reduce air pollution in Kingston.
A study conducted by Imperial University in 2018 showed that vehicles move more smoothly in 20mph zones, which reduces exhaust emissions from tyre and brake wear.
The government has taken a restrained approach to unnecessary speed reductions across the country, and is planning to update its guidance for local authorities to prevent inappropriate use.
Rt Hon Mark Harper, MP Secretary of State for Transport, said: “We will make it clear that 20mph speed limits in England must be used appropriately where people want them – not as unwarranted blanket measures. We will take steps to stop councils profiting from moving traffic enforcement.”
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