Friday, June 06, 2014

Lewisham Council's official response to 20mph petition

107/365 20s Plenty for Lewisham

I set up a petition a while back asking Lewisham Council to commit to making the whole of the borough a 20mph zone, something which they voted against doing at a full council meeting in November last year.

Before the election Lewisham Labour party included a commitment to making the whole borough 20mph in its manifesto (see page 18).

Now the election is over, and Sir Steve has been resoundingly reelected, I trust the council and its 53 of 54 Labour members will deliver on this pledge. In the meantime, I have had a response from the council which I reproduce below in its entirety:

Dear Clare Griffiths
I write further to the petition that was forwarded on your behalf by Cllr Darren Johnson for consideration of the newly elected Mayor of Lewisham (attached for ease). You may by now be aware that Sir Steve Bullock was re-elected Mayor of Lewisham Council.  I have been asked to respond on the Mayor's behalf.  
Thank your for raising residents' concerns about the speed of road traffic across the borough with us. I have liaised with our Transport division and can now respond.
The Council supports the principle of 20mph zones in residential areas in order to reduce speeds and reduce injuries from road traffic collisions.
Over recent years, the Council has embarked on a programme of new 20mph zones and 66% of the borough's roads now have a 20mph speed restriction.
The programme to date has been implemented in a measured way, and generally new 20mph limits are only introduced where they are supported by the physical measures that are necessary to make the limits self-enforcing.
Signed-only 20mph zones are not practicably enforceable, and the Police do not support their introduction unless appropriate physical measures are in place. Signed-only zones are therefore often ineffective at reducing speeds, creating an unrealistic expectation for enforcement by the Police and the Council.
The Council is committed to reducing accidents in the borough.   In Lewisham the vast majority of traffic collisions resulting in injuries occur on the Transport for London Road Network.  The Council plays a very active role in supporting TfL's road safety strategy, and works collaboratively with TfL to deliver a programme of road safety, education and publicity throughout the Borough, working towards London Road Safety Targets and performance indicators to reduce the number of casualties on the roads in Lewisham.
I hope this is of assistance to you.
Kind regards

Now, this doesn't look very promising to me. I hope it's just a mismatch between what is current council policy and what is likely to be introduced in the coming months. I will be keeping a very close eye on this though, and will be asking about it at the next full council meeting (which incidentally I am told will not be until September!)