Following a positive public consultation, the council is moving ahead to implement a 20mph speed limit across the borough.
Eighty per cent of respondents to the public consultation – which took place during October 2014 – were in favour of reducing the speed limit across all of the borough’s non red route roads.
The council directly consulted with the emergency services, neighbouring boroughs, local business groups and Transport for London (TfL) about the proposed reduced speed limit.
TfL signalled its support for the borough by announcing last week that Commercial Street – operated by TfL and not the council – will also become 20mph to coincide with the borough-wide implementation in April.
All councils have an obligation to manage and improve road safety – many urban local authorities have introduced or are introducing 20mph zones to help moderate the speed of motor vehicles and reduce accident rates.
Tower Hamlets is also very keen to use 20mph limits to create the conditions where far more residents can choose the healthy travel options of walking and cycling.
By introducing a borough-wide speed limit, the council is seeking to address safety while dealing with an increase in traffic volumes, cyclists, haulage vehicles and pedestrian levels.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “The council is committed to making the borough’s streets and roads safer for everyone. The introduction of a 20mph limit is an effective starting point to achieve this aim.”
Cllr Shahed Ali, cabinet member for clean and green, added: “20mph speed limits have been successfully introduced to other London boroughs and have been found to be effective at reducing accidents without increasing congestion. We hope that the implementation of a 20mph speed limit across the borough will respond to ongoing safety concerns.”
Jeremy Leach London, campaign co-ordinator for 20’s Plenty For Us, said: “It is fantastic news that Tower Hamlets has become a 20mph borough. By summer 2015, eight of the 13 inner London boroughs will have a 20mph speed limit ,and across London almost 3 million Londoners will be living on streets and roads with 20mph limits.”
The introduction of a borough-wide speed limit is a significant move which complements similar initiatives in Islington, City of London and other boroughs and has strong support from the 20’s Plenty campaign,Living Streets and local and London-wide cyclist groups.