Chiswick's Residential Roads to Have 20 Mph Speed Limit

Consultation starts on new plan to reduce speeding and rat-running


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A plan to introduce 20 mph zones across residential streets in Chiswick, is underway as Hounslow Council hopes to make local roads safer.

The issue came up for discussion at last week's Chiswick Area Forum where councillors gave a guarded welcome to a consultation on the plan for a borough-wide 20 mph limit in residential areas, and not just streets where there are primary schools. Most of the roads in Chiswick which come under Ealing borough already have the lower speed limit.

Chiswick's Residential Roads to Have 20 Mph Speed Limit

However some local councillors are concerned that that the introduction of a 20 mph limit will be a "largely a cosmetic exercise" and could provide a false sense of security and safety.

"Those motorists that already break the current 30 mph limit will probably also break a new 20 mph speed limit. The only benefit will be that accidents involving law abiding and generally safer drivers will occur at low impact speeds", said one.

Residents in some areas, such as Thames Road, have long demanded a 20 mph limit be introduced as the road is often used as a "rat run", from the A316 to the South Circular and Kew Bridge, leading to congestion in an area where there is a nursery and primary school at Strand on the Green. You can read more on the Council's plans on their web site. The first phase was introduced early last year and included streets in, or near, already traffic-calmed streets.

The consultation is concerned only with the individual 20mph speed limit zones and does not include the installation of any speed reducing features such as speed tables, speed humps, speed cushions or road narrowings.

Last year the Council started an informal consultation in October having secured funding to take measures around the boroughs 56 primary schools - the scheme is now being expanded to include residential roads nearby with high traffic volumes.

Local streets proposed include several in residential areas off Chiswick High Road, including Duke Road, Devonshire Street and Dale Street in the Glebe Estate, to streets in Grove Park including Elmwood Road, Fauconberg Road, Sutton Court, and Burnaby Gardens. Hounslow Council has now put posters on street lamps as part of a consultation to see if there is widespread support for the measure.

Enforcement would be by the Police in the same way as the existing 30 mph speeding limit is enforced. Speeding is a road traffic offence punishable by fixed penalty fines and points on the offender's driving licences.

rea around Thames Road

The Police actively enforce speed limits on heavily used roads and/or roads that experience a significant number of traffic "incidents" involving deaths or serious injuries. Additional fixed speed cameras are very unlikely to be introduced and enforcement would therefore rely on the deployment of mobile speed cameras.        

Some 175 miles of residential streets, about a quarter of London’s roads, already have 20 mph limits. If the speed limit were only introduced near schools, as had been originally proposed, it was feared it would lead to confusion for motorists and a 'patchwork ' situation could develop where one part of a street was a 20 mph zone and another part was not.

20 mph zones have already been imposed in residential areas in Camden, Islington and the City of London. Wellesley Road in Chiswick already has a 20 mph. TfL is setting up a pilot scheme on major roads which are accident hotspots, such as Commercial Street in Shoreditch next month. Plans are already underway for Tower Hamlets and Hackney to become 20mph boroughs.

If you would like to support or object to the proposals please send a statement in writing to the Director of Regeneration, Economic Development & Environment, London Borough of Hounslow, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow, TW3 4DN or by email to quoting the reference TMO/P015/15.

March 13, 2015

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