Living Streets - Making London A City Of 20

Tell the future mayor to make London’s streets safer and friendlier

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Living Streets

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Living Streets, the national charity that stands up for pedestrians, believes everybody should have a say. 

educing motor traffic speeds on London’s streets is the single biggest change that will make them safe, vibrant and social places, not just corridors for traffic. Living Streets, Sustrans and partners want the future mayor of London to commit to introducing 20 mph speed limits on the mayoral controlled streets where we live, work and shop.

Making 20 mph the default speed limit will:

• Increase someone’s chance of survival when being hit by a car to 97%
• Encourage walking and cycling
• Make our streets more sociable
• Reduce pollution and noise with less stop-start driving

Some common questions answered:

Will it take me longer to get around at 20 mph?

No. Lower speed limits increase the capacity of roads, as the bunching effect at junctions is reduced, and traffic flow improves. That’s why urban motorways are often 50 or 40 mph, as opposed to 70 mph. Even an urban journey of three miles, taking 30 minutes in a 30 mph limit, was shown to only increase to 33 minutes in a 20 mph setting.

Do car drivers want a 20 mph speed limit?

Surveys show that over two-thirds of us would like a 20mph speed limit in the streets where we live. Following Portsmouth’s introduction of a 20 mph zone, half of residents, including motorists, said that it made the area a more pleasant place to live.

Will 20 mph lead to more signage and street clutter?

In June 2011, Local Transport Minister Norman Baker announced measures to make it easier for councils to introduce 20 mph speed limits. The changes mean that councils are now permitted to use 20 mph signs painted on the road as an alternative to street signs. This will not only make it easier and less costly to implement 20 mph schemes, but will also support the drive to strip back street clutter.

Will 20 mph mean worse air quality?

When 30km/h (18.6 mph) zones were introduced in Germany, car drivers used 12% less fuel . A report from the AA, Fuel For Thought (Jan 2008), stated: “targeted 20 mph speed limits in residential areas are popular and improve safety. Along shorter roads with junctions and roundabouts, limiting acceleration to up to 20 mph reduces fuel consumption."

Help us create a city of 20 - join the campaign and write to the future mayor of London asking them to commit to introducing 20 mph on the streets where we live, work and shop. Find out more and write to the future mayor of London.

Tom Platt
Living Streets

September 7, 2011