London new lower speed limits come into force at midnight tonight

New lower speed limits come into effect tonight

Drivers in ultra congested hyper-city London will face harsh penalties for breaking the new lower speed limits which come into effect at midnight tonight. 

The speed limit on all main roads within the congestion charge zone is being cut to 20mph early well e fore the previously announced schedule, the public were only informed of the change today with less than 12 hours notice.

Millbank, Victoria Embankment, Upper Thames Street and Lower Thames Street will be among those where the maximum speed is reduced from 30mph. Speed signs on the roads may not have time to be changed but drivers will still face fines and points on their licenses.

The changes were due to be introduced in spring 2020 but will instead start on Monday (midnight tonight) as part of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Vision Zero policy to eradicate road deaths.

Speed cameras will be recalibrated and there will be police enforcement patrols. Drivers who break the speed limit face a minimum £100 fine and three points on their licence even for a nominal infringement over the limit.

There has been much protest in London over the use of inaccurate signs and “fine traps” which local councils told Al-Sahawat Times are an essential source of revenue for local governments.

A total of 5.5 miles of Transport for London roads will join the already wide spread 20mph, London standard speed limit.

In England the default speed limit is 30mph on main urban roads, but in London this has always been 20 mph with the exception of the largest roads, which will now also fall to the 20mpg limits.

However this is not as crazy as it seems, actually being able to achieve 20mph in London is nothing short of a miracle in many zones. The average daytime speed of traffic in central London over the past decade (2008-2018) was just 7.1mph a figure which is falling rapidly. In 2007/8 the average speed was 8.7mph. In many parts of London cycling or even walking are much faster methods of transport.

Across London, 131 people were killed in speed-related collisions between 2016 and 2018, and 2’256 suffered life changing injuries.

TfL also has longer-term plans to reduce speeds on 86 miles of “red routes” across the suburbs, where speeds of up to 50mph are currently permitted in the outer zones of London and major multi lane A roads and ring roads. These are expected to fall to 30mph in many regions fo the metropolis.

London has almost 3 million privately registered cars on the roads not including commercial vehicles, buses, taxis or cars registered and licensed outside of the city. That means there are more cars not he roads of London than there are people in some of Europe’s smaller countries such as Wales.

Londoners currently have to pay daily charges to drive in the city centre (such as Congestion Charges and Ultra Low Emission Zone Charges) which vary depending on the time of day, type of vehicle, engine size and a few other variables, but carry a minimum daily fee of £11.50 ($14.74 USD). Yet it is parking which is the most challenging and costly part of driving in one of the world’s biggest and most congested cities.

London is currently the only part of the UK where the number of cars per 1’000 people his actually falling. Between 2011 and 2015 the cars per thousand in London fell from 325 to 309 compared to a rise for 540 to 561 in the south east of England.

However since this 2015 figures were release, although the ratio of car ownership has continued to fall the population of the city has grown by around 300’000 people in the central zones.

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About the Author

Nur al-Shahid
• Celebrity Biographer • Author • Journalist • Travel Photographer