Prove the need for 20mph speed limits on London roads

UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour has challenged London’s authorities to provide undisputed evidence which justifies their quest to impose a 20mph speed limit on the city’s busiest roads.

The policy is part of ‘Vision Zero’, a collaboration between London mayor Sadiq Khan, Transport for London (TfL), and the Metropolitan Police. Authorities say it the 20mph zones are being introduced in a bid to reduce road deaths.

But Mrs Seymour claimed there was no clear evidence that these lower speed limits reduced casualty numbers – and accused the authorities of simply wanting to frustrate drivers into staying out of the city altogether.

She pointed to Bath and North East Somerset Council, which spent £871,000 bringing in 13 new 20mph speed zones, but found that the rate of people killed or seriously injured actually went up in seven out of the 13 zones in the first year.

“This is not the first warning that 20mph areas are more dangerous. In 2010 the Department for Transport reviewed a similar scheme in Portsmouth, and found that number of people killed or seriously injured on affected roads actually went up, not down, after the limit was lowered.”

She added: “To be honest, you would be lucky to exceed 20mph on most roads in the centre of London anyway. The authorities have strangled the main roads, and made them the most congested and slowest of any city in Europe.

“Their priority is walking and cycling, which means many major routes in London have been reduced to little more than single lane tracks, and this is no way to help ease congestion.

“London is a mess when it comes to transport, and the polices of TfL over the years have destroyed the road network throughout London. TfL has control of the roads, but is responsible for public transport – so the priorities are always going to swayed towards buses, cyclists and pedestrians.”

She said: “The London authorities, led by Sadiq Khan, appear to have a vendetta against personal transport such as the car, and do everything they possibly can to discriminate against it.

“This 20mph proposal is nothing more than another way for them to frustrate drivers, and cause them to avoid London altogether.

“It wouldn’t be so bad if the tube and buses were decent and not overcrowded, but the tube is packed to the point you cannot get on the train during peak times, and there is no air conditioning on most which makes the journey hot, sweaty and uncomfortable.”