20mph Speed Limit Planned for Lewisham

The Evening Standard reports that Brockley Central regular Cllr Sue Luxton has won mayoral approval for her pioneering plans to introduce a borough-wide 20mph speed limit:

The council's sustainable development select committee has voted in favour of the scheme, which will make Lewisham a guinea pig for the rest of the capital.
Borough mayor Sir Steve Bullock has endorsed the plan, which is the brainchild of Green councillor Sue Luxton.

She said the lower limit would be enforced by a ring of cameras, removing the need for costly road humps.

It also means humps in other parts of the borough, where 18 small-scale 20mph zones have been introduced already, can be phased out.

Brockley attracts plenty of boy-racers and car fetishists and anything designed to tackle them has our support, so long as its implemented in a pragmatic fashion, with the main arteries made exempt and a cost-effective means of enforcement can be found. If it can lead in the long-term to the removal of ugly road humps, width restrictions and other forms of traffic calming street furniture, then so much the better.

We hope we'll be able to read more of Sue's thoughts on the subject on her blog soon (or on here if she's around).

And on a tangential note, apologies to anyone who got stuck in traffic on due to lane closures on Endwell Road.

We've just realised that the developers had emailed us forwarning a few days ago. For the record, here was the message:

"Just to confirm, this Saturday 23rd Feb, there will only be a single lane for both sides of the traffic to use by the Tea factory, as a crane will be arriving at about 8am and will be there most of the day.

"This is for the delivery of large windows and the copper cladding. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause, this will be the last lane closure for this development."

Thanks to them for honouring their pledge to send us the information, even if we failed to honour ours to publish it in time.


Anonymous said...

As the TFL roads are unlikely to have a 20mph limit, more signs on each street corner?

A ring of cameras, is this a way to give hoodies cameras by the back door?

More trees axed so cameras have a clear view, how many side roads are there in Lewisham?

Brockley Nick said...

Good points and I hope that if these kinds of issues can't be resolved properly that they reconsider.

Anonymous said...

Mayoral approval? What about electoral approval? How come something that has such a potentially major impact on our lives can be introduced without consultation?

20mph is very slow is that limit to be applicable 24hrs a day?

Are the cameras going to be basic speed cameras or are they video cameras? I don't want Lewisham to become a surveillance town. Or this could be a precursor to a local congestion charging scheme.

Richard Elliot said...

I think the idea of removing speed humps and replacing them with a less invasive way of controlling speed is a good one that I welcome. Speed humps slow emergency service vehicles and damage cars.

However, as Anon says it needs to be implemented in a sensible way. And 20mph across the whole Borough? I am no boy racer, but I don't think such a blanket slow speed is a good idea, even if you do exclude the main arteries.

Anonymous said...

Agree with shocked, as Greenwich was playing with the idea of being added into the congestion charging zone, this may well be a start to Lewisham joining also.

My other concern is how will this effect traffic jams etc through the area, 20mph streets are stacked with vehicles during rush hour anyway, bearing in mind that typically you can't go above 25 at the best of times, is this really a necessary addition?

Around schools and places where children are crossing - understandable, but borough wide?

Anonymous said...

Just on the greenwich scheme, I think that was / is not intended to be part of the wider c charge system, more like a road toll for a very jammed part of london with the worst asthma rates in the uk.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick
I have already posted about this on my blog: http://tinyurl.com/36e4tf, as well as responding to a number of comments on the Evening Standard article (http://tinyurl.com/33q9r3) and the Newsshopper article (http://tinyurl.com/3xplz4), so I won't repeat all the points I made there.

The Evening Standard were over-egging the cake somewhat in their article, however, which suggested it was a done deal single-handedly dreamt up by me. Just to clarify, it was one of a range of recommendations made by the committee I chair (Sustainable Development) on ways of encouraging people out of cars and onto bikes, their feet and public transport. No decision has yet been taken, a huge amount of work needs to be done by TfL and highways officers and negotiations to be had with the police etc before anything could be implemented and the final decision lies with the Mayor of Lewisham and TfL.

That said, when I presented the report to Mayor & Cabinet last week, the Mayor made very supportive comments, and has since also spoken in favour of the idea on LBC Radio. The recommendation received cross-party support on the committee, and the leader of the Lib Dem group was supportive of it when it was raised at the Lewisham Cyclists' AGM last week.

One of the items in the Mayor of London's budget this year was for a feasibility study into a London-wide 20mph zone. Our proposal suggested that Lewisham bids to be a pilot borough for such a scheme, pending the outcome of the feasibility study. So while it's still very early days, I am quite hopeful that Lewisham will follow in the steps of cities such as Portsmouth in introducing a default 20pmh zone across the borough, with certain roads exempted.

PS: Please take a look at my post about the consultation on closing Brockley Police Station (http://tinyurl.com/35vdro) and perhaps post something on here about it - thanks!

Anonymous said...

As a pedestrian I've had more near incidents with cyclists than cars.
Considering the speed some of these racers get up to, is it time they were licenced?

I've had 3 incidents recently where they have come up fast on the inside and gone against the lights while people are crossing the road.

It seems to have become the accepted norm.

max said...

Assuming that red routes will not be affected then it's all about residential roads and I do think that 20 Mph is an abundant speed for residential roads.
I don't think that there's a need for cameras, there are hand-held devices to measure the speed, give them to those chaps that give parking tickets and give them a monetary incentive to report speeding mortorists.
To conclude, I think that there should be some sort of three strikes and you're out, revoking the licence for life for repeat offenders, but something much harder that the current points system.

Anonymous said...

@Anon. Yes, the cyclists who don't have regard for other road users (including pedestrians) are generally wannabe racers and poseurs who get their self-righteous kicks by
affirming to themselves that they're beyond following decent courtesy (and the Highway Code)because they're being 'green'.

Everyone's becoming far more selfish these days - pedestrians included. I used to motorcycle around London for a living and the attitude of pedestrians was - and still seems to be 'I'm just going to step off the pavement here, without apparently looking, and all the traffic must stop for ME!

TfL looked at licensing cyclists in 2006, but the cost would be astronomical, impossible to enforce, and would also turn people off the free-spirited nature of cycling itself - possibly driving them back into cars.

Anonymous said...

Well, I have absolutely no sympathy with drivers in their competition for road space with cyclists. As a pedestrian I do get very annoyed by the Brockley pavement cyclist association, who mainly consist of kids on BMX bikes with no lights who are a hazard to every pedestrian on Brockley Road. Where is the crack cycle squadron of Lewishams finest when you need them? We should reclaim the pavements from kids on bikes and shopfront car parking that makes walking through Brockley such a hazard.

BrockleyBiker said...

Dreadful news in my opinion. I can understand it in the residential areas, but not on the main roads. 20mph on Lewisham way is a ridiculous idea.

And there is nothing wrong with liking cars. Liking cars, despite what Ken and his ilk might thing, does not make you in league with the devil.

Brockley Nick said...

By car fetishists, I meant people whose idea of a good night out is hanging around at the end of the street in their car, with their sub-woofers blaring, smoking dope, then driving round the block a few times at 60mph, honking at their mates and shaking monkeyboy's window frames, before double parking on a main road to yabber on the mobiles. And repeat.

BrockleyBiker said...

Ah well yes those guys are eejits. Kevved up cars just make you look like a prat.

max said...

I think you'll find that most of those behaviours have nothing to do with smoking dope, rather with watching Jeremy Clarkson.

Brockley Nick said...

I didn't attribute a causal link. But smoking dope and driving isn't a good idea.

max said...

Smoking cannabis notoriously slows down drivers actually, and here's a 20 mph zone, do you think what I'm thinking?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if a 20mph speed limit will slow the cop cars down on their dash to get back to the station with their takeaways.

There is going to a nasty accident involving police cars haring along Brockley just waiting to happen. I do not believe for one moment that every high speed journey is a response to an emergency. I think they regard it as a perk of the job.

Anonymous said...

Please please please dear lord keep the speed bumps on breakspears road. when there were no speed bumps and a 30mph speed limit everyone drove down here at 70mph, the only thing that slowed the cars down and stopped the accidents were the humps. with a 20mph limit and no bumps we'll be back to 70mph.

max said...

Too right, I agree, at present speed bumps are the only thing that works.
It's because speeding drivers can get away with everything.
Here's what I would do if I was king:
- send people on the street to measure speed with handheld devices;
- 6 months without licence for speeding once;
- 2 or 3 years without licence for speeding twice;
- no licence for life for speeding trice;
Then you can take the bumps off.

I also suggest a on the spot fine for every driver that start moaning about cyclist/pedestrians when you want to speak about issues with cars.

Anonymous said...

@anon. The police have to pay a charge to the local council everytime there they put on their sirens when in their borough. If they go to a neighbouring borough, there is even a bigger charge for putting them on outside their designated area.

I really dont think the police would see it as a perk, i've been out on patrol with the duty sergeant at lewisham police and beleive me, its amazing what these guys have to put up with. He had to monitor 4 different radio frequencys, whilst driving and watching out for idiots crossing the road and being yelled abuse at just for being there. Give the police some credit, your comments just show how ignorant people can be.

Anonymous said...

I am a driver, a public transport user, pedestrian and sometime cyclist and I have disabled family member.I have a vested interest in all forms of transport.

The speed limit, needs to be set at a reasonable level for everyone, that does include drivers, 20mph on street at midnight is not reasonable in my view, 30 mph is.

However the arguments about people losing their lives trumps everything else and we know speed is a crucial factor. It is not the sole factor, too often on Crofton Park area, when I'm driving, I'm seeing people stepping out from behind a post office van. Whether the speed limit is 20 or 30mph they should not be doing that. There needs to be discipline from all sides to keep the accidents to a minimum. There is an all pervasive stereotype of drivers and it serves to excuse other road users from any responsiblity for their own safety and that isn't sensible.

I want to see the ressurection of the green cross code for kids.

All forms of transport on the road at night should have lights or minimum reflectors, this does mean you CYCLISTS. If they haven't then they should be stopped and reprimanded. It is reckless not to have lights.

Public transport- can be deeply unpleasant, and I'm not some snob talking. Noisy, dirty, intimidating. All this is down to lack of consideration for others. We need to get people to care about others.

Anonymous said...

What oh what is happening when we allow these people to turn Lewisham (and London) into a surveillance society that Orwell would have had nightnares about.

Not really to slow down traffic(note) but as a further means of raising stealth taxes aimed at the motorist. And all hidden behind the most purile concerns of the guiding few.

NO to cameras... YES to slowing down the fast and loose behaviour of the few. (London councillors that is.)

max said...

My bike looks like a Christmas tree and my fluorescent jacket can be seen from space.

"All this is down to lack of consideration for others. We need to get people to care about others."

That's so true, you got my vote there.

I was just thinking about cyclists on the pavement and how that's mainly a problem with teenagers rather than cyclists, same on buses.
Are these London Mayor candidates proposing to do anything effective about it?

But until we have that wide-spread caring attitude we need order and speeding drivers should not get away with it.
There's some drivers that are just ticking bombs, people on the edge that use their cars as weapons.
Take the licence off them I'd say and with the money that they save on petrol they can get themselves a therapist.

BrockleyBiker said...

I think it is important to put speed and speeding in context. The safest roads are motorways and they are not exactly slow places.

Speeding in an urban area is not a good thing and the 30mph limit is a good one, and I think within certain areas a 20mph is also good. But outside cities speeding really isn't that bad, so long as you not going mental about it. 10mph over the limit in an urban area is certainly bad but the same excess on a straight country road is hardly a problem.

I agree with jpm about cameras. They are just money makers nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Andy Pandy - it is not being ignorant to worry about the police crasing cars when on some high speed jaunt. It happens and a number of people are killed and injured each year by rookie cops losing control.

Brockley road is a race track for the lewisham fast response team. Sometimes it looks like the keystone cops haring around the borough. The police should obey the law like everyone else unless they are responding to a genuine emergency.

Anonymous said...

And i suppose you know that police are behaving irresponsibly? If so, you should report it. If not, give them credit for what they do. I'm sure they save many more lives than a very few instances where they 'might' of been irrsponsible.

Anonymous said...

Well I am sure the relatives of the 120 people dead or seriously injured arising from accidents involving police cars will take great comfort from your words Mr Pudding and Pie.

Sadly your faith in the expertise of police drivers is not supported by the some remarkable figures.

2M pounds a year paid compensation after accidents involving police cars?


Anonymous said...

Ok. no one is perfect. Now quote the opposite aspect, how many people have been saved by the police? how much - in monetary value - has the police contributed to the uk economoy by safeguarding property and assets and peoples live?

i think you will find that they generally do a good job, unless you think you can do better?

Anonymous said...

Traffic, speed and cameras are always going to be contentious... but there are a few quite dim comments on here.

@shocked - mayoral approval is the same thing as electoral approval. Don't like him? Don't vote for him. If enough people agree, you'll get your way.

And don't be silly. Congestion charging zones are entirely different in their set up, monitoring and controling, so there is no way 20mph is a back door to a congestion zone.

I have no problem with cameras being anywhere in London. There are dozens of instances where CC and other cameras have caught other criminal acts and been vital in prosecuting, when cases get to court.

I fully support 20mph simply because it will help reduce casualty rates.

I am hoping Sue's next campaign could be to introduce a London wide minicab driving test. Anyone seeking to be a professional minicab driver who cannot supply a UK driving licence ought to know what the rules are. You can guarantee if I am nearly taken out by a minicab on my bike (gasp! an evil cyclist), it will be a minicab driver. Of course there are a lot of other nationalities driving without UK licences but I feel strongly for those driving professionally, surely they should know what a pedestrian crossing is?

BrockleyBiker said...

"mayoral approval is the same thing as electoral approval. Don't like him? Don't vote for him. If enough people agree, you'll get your way."

That is a staggeringly naive comment.

Anonymous said...

Their contribution is clear as is that of all the other emergency services.

But I don't think the public should accept the risk of death or serious injury without question.

They are supposed to be subject to the traffic laws, like everyone else, but they are rarely, if ever, held to account. They never get a ticket, because they are responsible for enforcing the law and they almost never prosecute themselves. There is a clear conflict of interest here. Doctors and nurses save lives, should they be able to claim that they responding to an emergency everytime they are caught speeding?

The police are supposed to be highly trained drivers, but there are not even any common guidelines on police driving during when responding to emergencies. We invest a great deal of faith in the judgment of individual officers. That trust is undermined everytime they have an accident.

The police get a great deal of public support in this country, but it harms the relationship with the public when you see them haring up and down Brockley Road like the Keystone cops.

If Lewisham and possibly London as a whole becomes one big 20mph zone. There will have to be a LOT of changes.

Anonymous said...

Why can these new speed cameras not enforce the current 30mph limit?

Pete said...

"That is a staggeringly naive comment."

How so? We don't have referenda one very single issue, we vote for political parties and then entrust them to do things in keeping with their core beliefs. Just because you don't agree with this particular policy doesn't change this fact. Even if you didn't vote for him or his party.

Anonymous said...

You can guarantee if I am nearly taken out by a minicab on my bike (gasp! an evil cyclist), it will be a minicab driver.

What a spooky coincidence that is.

Pete said...

I think that could be an amusing typo! I can see the headlines now:

"Shock horror!! Minicab driven by minicab driver"

Anonymous said...

yes whoops sorry - my "minicab driven by minicab" typo was perhaps due to my ingrained poor image of the damn things!

And yes, elijah please explain how mayoral approval is not electoral approval? I sincerely hope you are registered to vote or you could be missing out on these marvellous things called eeee-lections which, despite a lot of daily mail readers tosh, do influence how much of the country is run. Not all, i grant you, but much. there are two sets of elections at play here; Mayoral (coming up)and borough - if you don't like lewisham rationalising its speed limit then off you trot to the voting booth. If you would like me to explain second preferences and their role in the upcoming mayoral elecitons, i would be delighted to.

Anonymous said...

Yes that sounds delightful.

BrockleyBiker said...

"And yes, Elijah please explain how mayoral approval is not electoral approval?"

I should have cut out the first bit contained in my quote.

What I was referring to, and which you have since demonstrated again, was your startling display of faith in liberal democracy and the power of elections to change anything aprat from which sets of shysters are currently in power.

Anonymous said...

...and to think there are people out there who would die(and are dying) to have the chance to vote.

mugs, the lot of them. That Nelson Mandela knew 'nufink!

Pete said...

"the power of elections to change anything aprat from which sets of shysters are currently in power."

What is the alternative though? Anarchism? Communism? Personally I would rather stick with what we already have. Several people are arguing against a 20mph speed limit and Lewisham becoming a Fair Trade Borough. These two policies (especially the second) would appear to deviate away from what has been the status quo for decades in this country and both are things that have been put forward by someone elected to serve on our council.

So to glibly dismiss liberal democracy because you just end up with the same set of "shysters" seems quite amusing to me.

Anonymous said...

Come on! Pointing out the imperfections of our liberal democracy is not to condemn it. One of the weaknesses we have is the rather poor quality of local politicians because they are drawn from a narrow class of individuals whose personal circumstances are flexible enough to take on poorly paid work as a councillor. It is not a great career move and it favour those in business, keen on being close to local regulatory authorities or public sector workers. Not very broad based and bad for democracy. It could all be made better with some thought. I am sure there is some sort of government enquiry looking into this. If this country becomes more decentralized then I am sure there will be some reforms are on the way. I am sure they don't want a return to the local government excesses of the 80's.

Anonymous said...

20mph zones with cameras, no humps.

What will this do? Primarily increase the revenue generated for the council. 20mph is ludicrously slow, cars are NOT designed to go at this speed!! Without knowing it you will creep above this snail pace and with cameras have a ticket!!

Where are the stats for Lewisham that show these humps are effective. A high percentage of accidents are I believe kids on mopeds, with these square road humps these are probably a major factor in these accidents with them dodging around them.

Also having lived in Breakspears Road when we campaigned, succesfully against the CPZ down to St Johns (being informed it was not an income generator) what do you all think about the new increase coming into force from £35 to £60 (71% increase), never believe what comes out of a councillors mouth or their transport departments.

On the last point Smug & Anonymous

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