Chiswick High Road Could Get 20 Mph Speed Limit

Council appears to have extended its plan to reduce speed on local streets


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A plan to introduce 20mph zones across residential streets near schools in Chiswick has been extended to take in Chiswick High Road and Chiswick Lane as well as Turnham Green Terrace.

Hounslow Council's Consultation Document on the issue of the speed limit includes "some main roads, when they pass through areas with lots of pedestrian activity".

At last week's Chiswick Area Forum meeting the Council's Traffic Officer, Mark Frost told local councillors that Hammersmith & Fulham council were planning to introduce a borough-wide limit of 20 mph. This would mean motorists would be going from a 20mph in nearby areas such as Stamford Brook and into a 30 mph in Chiswick which would be confusing. The Council believes it will be easier for drivers to know what limit applies where, if all residential roads have the same speed limit rather than a patchwork of zones around schools.

He said the introduction of the lower limit would make areas such as Chiswick Lane and Chiswick High Road a "better place" for people. The change was queried by Cllr John Todd, who said this was something new, as originally the 20mph had been limited to residential areas and streets near schools- He wondered why Chiswick Lane was included.

Chiswick's Residential Roads to Have 20 Mph Speed Limit

Only a short section of Brentford High Street is included in the 20 mph zone plan which sees a 30 mph zone along the A315 (London Road), but Chiswick would become entirely covered by the new limit. The Consultation is open until September 2015.

The document states that in 2014 there were 1063 people injured in traffic collisions in the borough. A 1 mph reduction in average speed could reduce the collision frequency by around 6 per cent. If a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle travelling at 20 mph there is a 2.5% chance they will be fatally injured, compared to a 20 per cent chance if they are hit by a vehicle travelling at 30 mph it says.

You can see details of the consultation and a map on the Council website

The areas in darker blue are the proposed 20 mph zones in Hounslow Council's map

The Council plans to use signage and road markings to enforce the police, and not more speed cameras or traffic calming measures. Revenue from speeding fines would not go to the council but to central government. Speeding is a road traffic offence punishable by fixed penalty fines and points on the offender's driving licences. The change was not likely to affect air quality. The move is part of a London-wide plan to curb urban speeds in residential areas.

Some Chiswick councillors had expressed concern at a meeting some months ago that that the introduction of a 20 mph limit would 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 recently.

Residents in areas close to schools such 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.

Area around Thames Road

Area around Thames Road

Some 175 miles of residential streets, about a quarter of London’s roads, already have 20mph limits. 20mph zones have already been imposed in residential areas in Camden, Islington and the City of London.

July 24, 2015

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