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Bromley Council refuses to back down on 20mph zones

PUBLISHED: 09:56 23 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:56 23 May 2016

Councillor Colin Smith

Councillor Colin Smith

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The council is opposed to the roll-out of 20mph zones across the borough

Bromley Council has refused to change its stance on 20mph zones following Sadiq Khan’s election, claiming it would be unjustified at a time of ‘unparalleled austerity’.

Bromley 20’s Plenty for Us coordinator Rory McMullan had hoped the council would reconsider its policy after the election of the new mayor, who pledged his backing for 20mph zones across London in his manifesto.

Mr McMullan said: “While the Mayor does not have specific powers to set transport policy, they have considerable influence through the Local Implementation Plan funding. With a new mayor setting overall transport policy I would expect to see greater funding from TfL for London Boroughs to implement 20mph schemes.

“With the new mayor, we will see an increased focus on the benefits of 20mph where people live, I therefore hope that Bromley Council will reconsider its policy and allow our residents to walk, cycle and play on our streets with greater safety.”

But Colin Smith, executive councillor for the environment, refused to back down on the issue.

He said: “Whilst Mr McMullan is entitled to his opinion, I can confirm that there are absolutely no plans whatsoever to change Bromley’s stance on this matter, fuller details of which were most recently discussed at June 2015’s Full Council meeting which can be referred to by interested readers on line.

“Bromley’s roads already experience amongst the lowest accident rates of anywhere in London thanks to a very long and proud record of accident reduction measures over the years targeted at proven accident black spots, supported by a our nationally acclaimed education programme targeted at younger drivers.

“Even were it considered likely to make any difference, to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ pounds pursuing the unproven science of area-wide 20mph zones at a time of unparalleled austerity simply cannot be justified in that context.”

The 20’s Plenty for Us campaign aims to encourage the adoption of 20mph as the default speed limit on residential and urban streets.

Research has shown that 20mph speed limits can reduce the number of road casualties by more than 40 per cent, while having little effect on the flow of traffic.

Three quarters of inner London boroughs have implemented 20mph zones, although uptake has been slower in outer London boroughs.

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