Twenty is very unusual

Following a consultation, Transport for London will install a 20mph speed limit on all central London roads it manages by May. The scheme would see a new limit along 5.5 miles of roads including Millbank, Albert Embankment and Borough High Street by May 2020.

Critics pointed out traffic meant average car speed in London is 6mph.

The speed limit is already in place on 19 per cent of London’s roads and supporters claim major benefits in road safety and improvement on the quality of life. Islington became the first London borough to impose a 20mph limit on all the roads that it controlled followed by Camden and the City of London. Once the city-wide speed restriction is adopted by all of London’s boroughs it will mean 95 per cent of the capital’s roads will have this restriction imposed upon them, which Transport bosses hope to introduce over the next five years.

Driving in Islington now has become tedious at best and painful should one have a back condition. The council’s road calming measures in the form of ‘sleeping policemen’ are ineffective as many large cars just straddle the obstruction.

However, my observation is that those drivers most willing to get up to higher speeds quickest are usually found to be the ones that need to rely upon their brakes most. Hence turning most of that kinetic energy into heat and ultimately hot air!

The only way to realistically keep speeds down to that magical 17 mph (as odometers are inaccurate at slow speeds), would be to remove all speed humps and invest in a network of average speed cameras, as their installation seems the only measure to work motorists adhere to the speed limit.

5 thoughts on “Twenty is very unusual”

    1. exactly. At 20mph I feel like I’m travelling at 15. Not that’s it’s a problem for me – I don’t work in Greenwich any more and I never drive into London. The thought of not being able to afford to park anywhere put me off long before the congestion charge.


  1. Why can you maintain 25mph but not 20mph? After all it’s only a matter of controlling the accelerator. The whole point of the 20mph is for pedestrian safety – surely that’s more important?


    1. I agree that 20 mph is safer, if only pedestrians didn’t jay walk on London’s streets. The problem, as I see it, is that the gearbox is designed for the vehicle to move at 28mph. Any lower and you are forever changing between 2nd and 3rd.


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