Wed. Jan 19th, 2022

The City of London aims to impose a general speed limit of 15 mph “across the city,” says a planning document to be discussed in a transport committee next month. The proposed measure is intended to save lives and reduce air pollution.

In the document, Bruce McVean, acting assistant director of transport at the City of London Corporation, reveals that he must seek permission for the speed limit change from England’s transport minister, Grant Shapps.

“A request for principled support for a speed limit of 15 km / h will soon be submitted to the Minister of Transport,” McVean said.

“If this is agreed, we will begin work on an experimental traffic order (ETO) to introduce a city-wide limit of 15 mph with the aim of having this in place by the end of 2022.”

City-wide refers only to the City of London – or “Square Mile” – instead of Greater London.

The plans – highlighted by an eagle-eyed Twitter user @lastnotlost– will be discussed at a meeting of the Transport Committee on 5 October.

“Through the transportation strategy, we are committed to eliminating deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2040,” the document, presented to the committee.

In addition to introducing a speed limit of 15 km / h, the City of London also aims to widen the sidewalks in a “Pidestrian Priority Program” that will “give more priority to people who walk.”

There will also be an extended cycle network with connections from Aldgate to the protected cycle path on the Thames Embankment.

London’s financial district previously planned to impose a speed limit of 15km / h in 2019. At the time, AA President Edmund King said it would not make much of a difference because the motor traffic in the Square Mile “has not moved faster than a horse and a wagon for 100 years anyway. “

A briefing document for the 2019 plans, which did not make progress, said cyclists would also be subject to the 15 mph speed limit.

According to the Traffic Act of 1984, only motorists must comply with the speed limits. Cyclists are not mentioned; cyclists are also not mentioned in the sections for non-speed in the Traffic Act.

UK speed limits are set in increments of 10 mph. Between 1931 and 1935, UK motorists were free to drive at any speed they wanted: there were no speed limits (instead, there were plenty of deaths).

Orkney, an archipelago off the north-east coast of Scotland, has had speed limits of 15 km / h on some residential streets since 1993.


Article updated, 28 September, with information on UK rules on speeding. Updated headline to indicate “City of London.”

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By Victor

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