Westminster - introducing lower speed limits

Consultation has concluded

Thank you to everyone who responded with their views on the next stage of the lower speed limits programme which is to introduce safer speeds on the remaining TfL roads in Westminster from March 2022.

We are now reviewing all of the responses to this consultation. Following this, we will then publish the consultation outcome along with our next steps in a consultation report.

Our proposal

We are asking for your views on the next stage of the lower speed limits programme which is to introduce safer speeds on the remaining TfL roads in Westminster from March 2022.

We would

Thank you to everyone who responded with their views on the next stage of the lower speed limits programme which is to introduce safer speeds on the remaining TfL roads in Westminster from March 2022.

We are now reviewing all of the responses to this consultation. Following this, we will then publish the consultation outcome along with our next steps in a consultation report.

Our proposal

We are asking for your views on the next stage of the lower speed limits programme which is to introduce safer speeds on the remaining TfL roads in Westminster from March 2022.

We would like to know what you think about our proposals; please tell us by 18 August 2021 by completing our online survey.

We are planning to use raised tables again to slow vehicles, along with signs and road markings to encourage drivers to slow down.

A map of the roads included and what the new speed limits will be can be found in the 'Documents' section.

We’ve been working to determine the most effective way of implementing the new speed limits in Westminster and are now ready to share our plans with you. We’ve provided more information about our proposals on this page and would like your views before we progress this measure to save lives.

Maps showing where we are introducing the new measures in St John’s Wood Road/Finchley Road, Vauxhall Bridge Road and A41 Wellington Road/Park Road can be found in the 'Documents' section.

We would introduce the new speed limit through regulatory signs and road markings first, with construction of the raised crossings and tables to follow. This will mean we can build the raised tables individually, reducing disruption to road users.

Overview

Following consultation in 2019 and responding to the comments raised in introducing safer speeds in central London (Congestion Charge Zone) we introduced the new speed limit of 20mph in March 2020.

There were nearly 2,000 responses to the consultation and half of people said the proposals would have a positive impact on walking with 31% saying that many more people would choose to walk. Almost two-thirds thought that the proposals would lead to more people cycling (59%). Our consultation report can be found in the 'Documents' section.

In Spring last year we introduced a series of temporary changes to Park Lane as an emergency response to the pandemic. These changes included a new protected cycle and bus lane, and a new 20mph speed limit for all traffic. This consultation will help us decide to make the 20mph limit permanent. In the coming months we’ll need to decide what the longer-term future of the other temporary changes should be. In doing so we will take into account both the outcome of our monitoring since the changes were first introduced and the feedback we have received. If we believe that there is a case for retaining the other changes permanently we will consult on those before making a decision to do so.

The introduction of the new safer lower speed limits for Westminster will be supported by a marketing campaign to increase awareness of the new limits. This will be before the new speed limits are introduced.

Why we are introducing safer speeds in Westminster

The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) have committed to the Vision Zero Action Plan. The Action Plan sets out our ambition to eliminate death and serious injury from London’s transport network by 2041. It details our plans to reduce road danger, including proposals to implement safer lower speeds on the roads we operate and manage in central London.

Collision data from around the world is very clear. It shows that the faster a vehicle is travelling the more likely a collision will occur because the driver has less time to react, stop or avoid the collision and the more severe an injury resulting from the collision will be.


Infographic of chance of being killed or seriously injured in 20mph compared to 30mphInfographic of chance of being killed or seriously injured at 20mph compared to 30mph


Collisions occur more where higher numbers of people are walking, cycling and riding motorcycles. This creates a high-risk road environment and lower speeds will reduce the danger motor vehicles pose to people on foot and bike. As more and more people are choosing to walk and cycle around London, we must reduce the risk of them being killed or seriously injured. Lowering traffic speeds also makes our streets less polluted, and better and safer places to walk and cycle.

How we will lower speed limits

Department for Transport (DfT) guidance suggests that streets that are self-enforcing are the most successful way to achieve compliance with lower speed limits. In addition, the look and feel of roads that are designed to be self-enforcing often mean they’re more welcoming places for people to walk and cycle.

However, the roads we manage are London's most strategic routes, carrying 30% of all London’s traffic and providing important links for freight and servicing vehicles, as well as buses. They’re also often relied upon by emergency services as the most direct roads to use when responding to an emergency. For these reasons, we’re taking a phased approach to delivering self-enforcing speed limits, so we can evaluate the effectiveness of the measures first and understand whether additional changes are needed to achieve lower speeds.

In addition to making the lower speeds introduced as a temporary measure last year on the Westway and Park Lane permanent we will introducing some of the design and engineering measures we have used before to lower speeds including:

  • Signs
  • Road markings
  • Raising pedestrian crossings
  • Raised tables

There's no 'one size fits all' approach to reducing vehicle speeds and we also need to consider the type and function of the road, the space available and different road users, when we design a low speed environment.

We’ll be taking a phased approach to making these changes so we can monitor the benefits and impacts before determining whether additional changes are needed.

Our proposals include:

  • Installing new speed limit signs and road markings
  • Recalibrating all existing speed cameras to enforce the new lower speed limit
  • Signs and temporary lamp post banners
  • Regular speed limit signs are installed at the entrance to roads indicating the speed limit, as well as repeater signs along the road. These are standard measures when indicating speed limits and in with DfT guidance
  • Raised pedestrian crossings raises the pedestrian crossing to the same level as the pavement creating an incline for vehicles. All raised crossings have tactile edge paving to mark the crossing location for visually impaired people. A raised pedestrian crossing is designed so that motor vehicles can travel over them without having to accelerate or decelerate, if travelling at or below the speed limit. This is in line with DfT guidelines
  • Raised tables are the same as raised pedestrian crossings but they are not designated crossing points and do not have tactile edges


Image of a raised pedestrian crossingImage of a raised pedestrian crossing


The Police enforce all speed limits in London using on-street officers, mobile speed cameras and fixed speed cameras. The Police will continue enforcing all speed limits across London, including where new speed limits are in place.

Equalities

We are subject to the general public sector equality duty set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, which requires us to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations by reference to people with protected characteristics. The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. As part of our decision-making process on proposals for new schemes, we have had due regard to any impacts on those with protected characteristics and the need to ensure their interests are taken into account.

In considering the design of our streets, we closely consider the needs of all users throughout the design process. As this scheme is a significant infrastructure project we:

  • Have completed an Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) at the outset of the project, to review potential impacts on equality target groups, including disabled people
  • Will carry out public consultations, including targeted engagement with specific user groups
  • Will continue to ensure we comply with established guidance - such as the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges - which includes detailed requirements for disabled people
  • The EqIA will be kept under review and updated to reflect any material changes to the proposals

Our Equality Impact Assessment can be found in the 'Documents' section.

Next Steps

We will assess all comments received and use this feedback to inform any necessary design changes. We plan to publish the consultation report and the response to issues raised report later this year. Subject to feedback we are proposing to implement the changes by March 2022.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Please share your views on our proposals by taking part in this survey. It should take you no more than 10 minutes to complete. 

    If you would rather not complete our survey, please submit your response to us in writing to:  

    Please note responses to the survey may be made publicly available after the engagement exercise has closed, this would typically be in the form of a report on the results of the engagement exercise, but any personal information will be kept confidential. Your personal information will be properly safeguarded and processed in accordance with the requirements of privacy and data protection legislation. For further information, please visit our privacy policy.

    Consultation has concluded