Extension of 20mph zones coming to Hackney

Pic: http://www.garstangcourier.co.uk/

More of Hackney’s roads will be slowed to 20mph from March 2013 in an extension of a joint traffic management scheme with Islington Council.

Over the year-long trial, major roads that link with Islington will be limited to 20mph, including Green Lanes, Blackstock Road and Balls Pond Road. Red routes run by Transport for London will be exempt from the change.

Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “By working with our neighbours Islington Council, we will be able to test how these speed limits can be enforced and their effectiveness in reducing traffic speeds, noise and air pollution.”

But a spokesperson for the AA dismissed the idea the scheme would reduce pollution.

He told Eastlondonlines: “This limit will lead to bottlenecks and more traffic that will increase fuel consumption and air pollution.” The spokesperson also dismissed claims that the limit will encourage people to cycle.

Hackney and Islington Council first introduced the 20mph limit on residential roads five years ago. Since then, there have been 50 per cent less accidents.

The spokesperson from the AA said he doubted that extending the limit to major roads will have the same effect. “We have no problem with the limit in residential areas because there are people there. But on arterial routes there are pedestrian crossings.”

Police in Hackney support the proposal and expect the move to be self-enforcing. But Chief Inspector Andy Walker said they would enforce the new bylaw if they felt there was a need. He said: “If there are problems with speeding in particular locations, such as outside schools, then police enforcement remains an option.”

Street design will be unaffected during the year and only signage will be changed.

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