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Last chance to have a say on 20mph vision

The Council has been consulting residents on whether to introduce a 20mph speed limit across the borough – and 31st October is the last day for comments to be made. Around 85 per cent of the borough is already within local 20mph zones and the proposal would be to operate the lower limit on all roads except the A12 and Limehouse Link/Aspen Way.

The majority of the current 20mph areas have experienced a reduction in the total number of casualties through road accidents. A blanket 20 mph limit would make it easier for road users, as well as sending a clear message to all vehicle drivers that they should be taking proper care when they are driving through Tower Hamlets.

Other areas that have implemented a 20mph limit have shown that roads have not become more congested through the reduction in the speed limit. On the other hand, a blanket speed ban would mean that all vehicles would have to observe it all the time: drivers would have to keep to 20mph even if they were driving along a road in clear visibility at quiet times of day or night. Sometimes a driver keeping to the speed limit can irritate other drivers and cause a potentially dangerous situation.

There are figures which suggest that a 20mph limit lowers average speeds by between 1 and 1.5mph. However, average figures do not tell you a great deal as they are heavily influenced by speeds at busy times, when the formal speed limit has less effect on speeds than the fact that the roads are completely full and traffic can only creep forwards.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “I am committed to making our streets and roads safer for all users to reduce accidents and injuries. The introduction of a 20mph limit is an effective starting point to achieve this aim.”

Cllr Shahed Ali, Cabinet Member for Clean and Green, said: “20mph speed limits have been tried in other London boroughs and have been found to be very effective at reducing accidents without increasing congestion.”

Comments on the proposal can be made by email to road.safety@towerhamlets.gov.uk or write to Road Safety, Tower Hamlets Council, 6th Floor, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, E14 2BG. The closing date for comments is 31st October.

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