TfL has just released its guidance to the London boroughs for schemes to fund between 2019/20 and 2021/22. 20mph limits play a key role for both TfL and Borough roads.
The guidelines are significant as they are the first that have been developed under the (now adopted) Mayor’s Transport Strategy. The foreword to the strategy gives a sense of the change in policy in London when it says “(The MTS) goes beyond seeing transport networks simply as a means of moving people and goods around, recognising that the streets we use for travel are also the places where we live, shop and spend time, where businesses grow and where communities come together”.
The guidance emphasises the commitment to Vision Zero and its long-term goal that “ultimately no one is killed or seriously injured on London’s roads”. This target aims to be met by 2041 and there are two interim targets of:
“a 65% reduction in number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) on London’s streets by 2022 against 2005-09 levels” and
- “a 70% reduction by 2030 against 2010-14 levels”.
As part of this work there is a real focus on addressing high vehicle speeds and the impact these have both on road casualties and the intimidation they cause to other roads users and in particular those on foot and those who are cycling. There are many mentions of the role of lower vehicle speeds and 20mph limits to help deliver this goal. Mentions of 20mph include:
- (2.26) (p22) In relation to Vision Zero, Boroughs “should consider reducing speed limits in areas where people live, work and shop to 20mph.”
- As part of Healthy Streets and healthy people, Proposal 5 (p 46) to make it easier for people to walk and cycle by “Providing a low-speed environment – normally 20mph on roads where people live, work and shop and where children travel to school”.
- (p 48) On the TfL managed Red Route network (TLRN), reducing the danger posed by vehicles by: “Introducing lower speed limits and improving compliance with speed limits through design, enforcement, technology, information and appropriate training. 20mph limits will continue to be implemented on London’s streets, with 20mph considered as part of all new schemes on the TLRN. TfL will look to implement 20mph limits on its streets in central London as a priority, with implementation being widened across inner and outer London as soon as is practicably possible. TfL will work with the boroughs to implement lower speed limits on their streets, prioritising designs that are self-enforcing and that do not place an additional burden on policing partners. TfL will provide data analysis, training and technical guidance to support this.”
This feels a really important section as it underscores the role of 20mph limits to set the context for the appropriate maximum vehicle speed but stresses the role of all the other elements of:
- road design
- technology (all London buses will have mandatory speed limiters fitted by 2022)
in gaining compliance with these lower limits.
There is further encouragement (p93) from the recognition of the role of new technology in encouraging compliance – “Working to ensure that vehicles driven on London’s streets adhere to the highest safety standards, starting with a new Direct Vision Standard for HGVs and including the introduction of new vehicle technologies such as Intelligent Speed Assistance and Automatic Emergency Braking.”
- (p51) The development of a 20mph toolkit that describes how to deliver improved compliance with 20mph speed limits. This is due to be published in June 2018. This will be found (in due course) at: https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/streets-toolkit
- Some of the potential initiatives that are outlined give a sense too of where policy is now headed such as:
(p72) Example initiatives that “Focus on mode shift and traffic reduction: central London” include “20mph zone throughout the Congestion Charge Zone to make central London streets safer”
(p75) “Introducing lower speed limits and reducing traffic speeds. Implement self-enforcing 20mph schemes on borough roads to drive down speeds and make London’s streets safer.”
- Finally (p126) it is encouraging to see Lower Speed Limits as one of the LIP OUTCOME INDICATORS AND DELIVERY INDICATORS – one of the elements that the proposed borough schemes will be judged against. In relation to Healthy Streets and healthy people, the % of the borough road network with a 20mph limit becomes one of the LIP delivery indicators.
So overall lots to encourage us in relation to the schemes that should be coming forward from the boroughs and TfL’s intentions should be fleshed out further and become clearer when the TfL Vision Zero Action Plan is published in May/June.
The guidance document can be downloaded from http://content.tfl.gov.uk/third-lips-guidance-2018.pdf
This briefing was developed by the London Campaign Co-ordinator for 20’s Plenty for Us, Jeremy Leach.
For more information from Jeremy on 20mph developments in London, please contact him as below.