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POLL: Do you want 20mph speed limits in Croydon?


THE council is considering introducing 20mph speed limits in a bid to increase safety on the borough's roads.

Councillors met on Tuesday to discuss rolling out the limits after Labour promised in its manifesto to introduce speed restrictions if it had public backing.

In 2013, 13 people were killed and 58 seriously injured in crashes in Croydon – the highest of all the London boroughs – with road traffic collisions costing the borough £61 million.

Kathy Bee, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: "If you're driving less fast you have more time to avoid a collision and when it happens it's less serious."

Cllr Bee said the limits went beyond safety and she wants pedestrians to feel like they own their streets.

"Whose roads are they?" she said. "In the past there was the assumption that roads were about cars and we need to address that imbalance and give people their roads back."

The council plans to split the borough into five and introduce a 20mph limit in one area a year, at a cost of £300,000 a year.

The speed limit will be introduced to whole areas, not individual streets, but major roads like the A23 will keep their current limits.

The change will be introduced as a 20mph limit, not a 20mph zone. Speed limits manage themselves with signs and road markings which drivers must respect.

A speed zone includes traffic calming measures such as speed bumps and road narrowing to actively slow traffic and is far more expensive to introduce.

Croydon Council conducted a survey in Addiscombe and South Norwood to see if residents want the 20mph limit.

Three hundred people responded, with 78 per cent in favour of the limit, saying the traffic in their streets was too fast.

Only 20 per cent rejected the limit saying that it was not needed.

Opinions at the meeting were divided about whether the limits would work.

Jeremy Leach of community group 20's Plenty For Us said he would like the limits to be considered on main roads, where most fatalities happen.

Austen Cooper, of Croydon Cycling Campaign, added: "There are people who would cycle if s they felt safer, like children and older people who suffer more if they get hurt."

Roger Lawson from the Alliance of British Drivers observed that there is no correlation between blanket speed limits and road accidents.

He said: "The starting point should be what is the evidence of cost verses benefit of measures available. If you spend money on ineffective measure you don't spend it on effective ones."

"Simplistic schemes devised not by traffic experts but by politicians are rarely effective."

The Institute of Advanced Motorists welcomed the council looking at the introduction of the limits. But Neil Greig, director of policy and research, expressed concerns that if a speed limit does not suit the characteristic of the road it will be ignored or cause drivers confusion.

Roads currently among those excluded from the plans are the A22 and A23, A2022, A235 and B269, A212, A236, A222 and A213, A215 and B273.

POLL: Do you want 20mph speed limits in Croydon?

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