Lewisham borough wide 20mph speed limit update
The Service Group Manager Highways and Transport introduced the report.
The Chair said this initiative was very positive and have had positive feedback but the issue was around enforcement. He asked what the Council was doing to ensure the scheme works and was told that there were other deterrents on high speed roads like speed cameras, road bumps and cushions. The officer reported that Transport for London (TFL) was producing a draft vision zero action plan which would be pushing for most roads to have a 20mph speed limit, and some of Lewisham roads would be included in the list.
The Chair commented that cycling had been very difficult around the Lewisham Gateway, and asked if TFL could be approached to address this. The Service Group Manager Highways and Transport said there were problems with the design which had been drawn around 2007/8, and work was now being done in accordance with the 2015 London Cycling Standards. This had made things complicated as the design was dated, but the east-west cycle route would be accessible once the scheme was completed. Councillor Mallory asked whether it would be difficult to seek a further review from TFL at this point.
Councillor Muldoon expressed concerns about reliance on the average speed cameras, and asked if 20mph ones could not be used instead. He said if this was down to cost, resident groups could be encouraged to work as volunteers using speed guns. They could be supported by the Police, and offenders could be sent formal warning letters. It was noted that although there were not many speed cameras on Lewisham roads those that have been installed have been realigned to 20mp speed limit, and the Police were under a lot of pressure with other crimes to give much assistance. The officer commented that the Council would be looking at expanding the use of speed cameras to most areas.
Councillor Muldoon commented that working with residents would be beneficial, and community road watch groups could be set up, and Members could help to facilitate this with the support of the Police. The Chair said discussion on community road watch at his last assembly meeting was very positive.
Councillor Mallory argued that although he acknowledged the interest in additional cameras these could be costly. He asked whether they could be funded by TFL, so it would not impact on the Council’s budget. The officer responded that they would need to investigate the cost, but this could be recovered from reinforcement fines. The officer said fees would be ring-fenced for cost and improvement, and TFL would be approached to discuss this.
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Panel Members were informed that speed cameras were only used in high accident areas, and other roads had signs. A map was tabled illustrating red routes areas with cameras. Panel Members noted that the map was used to inform TFL.
Councillor Mallory asked whether officers had done a review to find out if they had reached their target, and was told that this information was not yet available. It was noted that there was no target set, the aim was to ensure a reduction in the number of serious accidents, but the collision and injury statistics could be analysed. The officer said they were waiting for some robust sample by the end of the financial year.
Councillor Sorba asked what proportion of residents were cyclists, and was told the information was not available. Councillor Sorba asked whether roads policy were over-influenced by cycling interests as opposed to other types of road users who do not have the same lobbying profile.
The Service Group Manager Highways and Transport responded that officers would investigate and update Panel Members with the data as soon as possible. He stressed that all efforts were geared towards making Lewisham roads safe. Councillor Mallory said people should be encouraged to use buses as this was an efficient mode of travelling. He said if use of buses was not promoted and utilised residents could lose this option in some areas. The Chair concurred that the use of buses was the way forward.
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The Chair thanked officers for the report, and said Panel Members look forward to the collision and physical injury statistics at a future meeting.
RESLOVED that the decision of the Mayor and Cabinet be noted.