Call for extension of speed limit scheme
Councillors calling for the extension of 20mph speed limit schemes in Merton are submitting a motion to the next full borough council meeting.
Between 2008 and 2010, "20's Plenty" schemes - where traffic is limited to 20mph - were rolled out across several areas of Merton including Wimbledon Hillside, West Barnes, St Helier, Wimbledon Park, Raynes Park, Trinity and Dundonald in response to residents' demand.
Now four Conservative councillors - Councillor Suzanne Evans, Councillor Suzanne Grocott, Councillor Richard Hilton and Councillor Gilli Lewis-Lavender - have submitted a motion calling for the scheme's extension. It will be discussed at the council meeting on November 21.
They say a recent study for the London Road Safety Unit showed that 20mph zones cut speeds by an average of 9mph and injury from collisions by an average of 43%.
Their motion says "20's Plenty" schemes should be extended to allow any area where a majority of residents express a clear demand for it, to be able to have it.
But Lib Dem councillor Mary-Jane Jeanes said: "Over 8 million people already live in towns where the default speed limit is 20mph – cutting the overall speed of traffic, while improving traffic flow, reducing injuries and damage from accidents, and lowering pollution. So we definitely back the new "20's Plenty for Merton" residents' group in their campaign.
"However, we were disappointed to see that neither Labour nor the Conservatives have really understood the issue. The plans they have both outlined would embed an unclear every-road-for-itself approach. This makes things very confusing for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
"We are proposing a borough-wide default 20mph scheme - where the Council and residents will decide whether particular roads are suitable for higher speed limits - as a much better approach. This will be much simpler for everyone and make our streets safer for all. We hope all Merton’s councillors will back our proposal."
November 19, 2012