Letter: Make 20mph The Default Speed On Residential Roads

Dear Editor,

Following an awful traffic accident on my road in late September, local parents and residents are understandably calling for better enforcement of 20mph speed limits – such limits have been shown to reduce both the number of accidents and the severity of injuries. Petition link

I think Merton should go one step further and look again at making 20mph the default speed limit on all residential streets in the borough. This will not be appropriate for all roads, but any limit above 20mph should be a considered decision based on local circumstances.

No scheme will work perfectly, but where this has been adopted, the evidence has shown that average speeds do drop- it’s also far less confusing for drivers than Merton’s current mishmash of 20mph and 30mph zones and limits.

When this was last proposed by the borough’s Lib Dem councillors in 2012, the proposal failed to receive the backing of Labour, Conservative or Merton Park Residents’ Association councillors. But over 14m people now live in local authorities that are adopting or have adopted this policy – nearby Wandsworth is currently consulting on such a scheme.

Readers can find out more at www.20splentyforus.org.uk – a not for profit campaign to support this idea.

We all want safer and more pleasant streets; I hope Merton will be open to thinking again.

Anthony Fairclough
Merton Hall Road,
SW19 3PZ

October 23, 2015