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Here is something we've commented on before - 20 mph speed limits - for a long time Haringey has been ignoring its own advisers and persisting with 30mph speed limits - something the Lib Dems said was 'daft'.
Well , not so daft any more, Haringey is asking
I've been driving in Islington quite a lot recently (the first London borough to introduce a 20mph speed limit on all it's roads) and I must say that 20mph does 'feel' very slow. I think it's partly to do with the fact that you feel like you're holding up the traffic behind you - very few people are actually sticking to 20mph... more like 25-30mph. However, once you get used to the 'rhythms' of driving slower, you do get used to it and it becomes more relaxed to drive in built up areas... and safer too!
However, a new 20mph speed limit in Haringey will need to be enforced; and I don't mean initially in a heavy-handed way with more speed cameras and exorbitant fines - more like pulling individual drivers over and 'educating' them. Traffic laws are only valid if they are seen to be practically enforced, in my opinion. So consequently I say "Bring on 20mph speed limit in Haringey"!
As a pedestrian, I can reassure you that cars travelling along at 20mph can look like they're moving pretty fast at times :)
Lots of the safety work about the speed limit was based on pedestrian perceptions, especially children's. When I was young, the cars were heavy and had motorist operated drum brakes and I could tell if a car was slowing done, for a zebra crossing, for example. In this age of servo assisted ABS in a lightweight chassis, braking distances are almost nothing and motorists have no need to brake until they are about a yard short of the stopping point. I find that scary.
I've only ever driven cars about as old as I am - so this is very interesting to learn!
I drive like a grandma (and I mean no disrespect to grandmas), so a 20mph zone would be welcome.
ps I no longer have a car but sometimes drive a van for work - white van man I ain't.
Call me cynical but in my view this is another stealth tax on the motorist from the inevitable fines that will result. Is it possible to see Haringey's budget for justifying this change to see whether they have accounted for fines income?
Driving at 20mph just annoys the sh*t out of other motorists and causes them to take risks. It doesn't achieve any overall good in my view especially on the 'major' roads such as City Road.
The answer to this then , is 'don't get caught' the yellow cameras are pretty obvious.
Also, I have recently taken to driving at more modest speeds and not using the brakes. This means the precious momentum I do build up by means of internal combustion dissipates naturally, and the fuel consumption gauge on my dashboard has moved up from just below 40mpg to 46.8mpg. At a king's ransom per gallon of fuel this represents a noticeable saving, and in terms of the time it takes to get anywhere makes damn all difference. I almost always catch those around me at the next set of lights. Plus, I might never have to replace the pads and discs on my brakes.
Keep Calm and accelerate gently.
Any really major roads aren't covered by the Council 20 mph limits anyway as they are TFL's responsibility - can't remember which ones in Islington aren't covered though but I am sure its relatively easy to find out. As someone who is regularly in pedestrian mode with a gaggle of under 10s anything to slow down the cars is a good thing.
If it reduces fuel usage it reduces emissions and therefore air pollution too. I met the Islington cabinet member for health the other day. She was very proud of the 20mph rule, but said it was too early for any data yet on whether it had made a difference. I'll be watching with interest.
I'm not in favour of 20mph speed limits - in fact, Islington's blanket approach is widely ignored - and my cynical angle is that it simply soaked up precious budget by painting useless "20" road markings absolutely everywhere.
I would much rather have emphasis on safe, considerate driving, and strict observance of the highway code by all.
So, drivers and riders using their indicators (and thinking ahead), cyclists stopping at junctions before turning, and observing the law regarding traffic lights, and pedestrians using zebra and pelican crossings the correct way, etc etc.
My impression from Islington is that the speed cameras have not been reset - and I guess will only be triggered by speeds in excess of 30 mph. Perhaps they fall under the jurisdiction of the Met rather than the council?
Finally, I in line with my opening remarks, I also think our streets are littered with far too many markings, signs, and assorted 'furniture'.
Have been banging on about this for years and now it seems it's coming. Many other London boroughs have already introduced 20mph. Why were Haringey so slow about it?
Should encourage more to cycle I hope.
I do hope not. Cyclists are an anarchical nightmare, swooping on all sides of the poor motorist, ignoring the Highway Code, riding on pavements and generally goading the scythe carrier. And paying nothing for the special privilege of using the roads.
Although some cyclists don't behave well, I can say as a cyclist for almost 40 years on London streets that many motorists behave badly too, driving far too close to cyclists, and breaking speed limits whenever they can. They also endanger pedestrians too. The figures show that motorists do moderate their behaviour, and slow down by an appreciable amount once a 20 mph limit is brought in - even if not to 20 mph - and this means more lives saved and fewer serious injuries.