Published: 25 October, 2012
MY colleague Cllr Jonny Bucknell asserts that “cities are 30mph places for 30mph people”.
We in the Conservative group in Camden are a broad church, and my experience is that many residents welcome 20mph zones for the contribution they make to road safety and overall quality of life, not least for the elderly and those with limited vision.
The last Conservative/ Lib-Dem administration rightly extended the number of 20mph zones considerably, and I think that the idea of a borough-wide 20mph limit on the non-TfL roads is definitely worth serious consideration.
The Haverstock 20mph zone is working well, and if it’s leading to drivers having to slow down very sharply – well that’s the point. The Primrose Hill proposals border my ward and it will be interesting to see what consultation brings. While we need good consultation, the fact that 20mph zones are always going to be contentious with some should not be an excuse for inaction by the council.
In my ward, the main concern in the South Hampstead 20mph zone is lack of enforcement. While average speeds have fallen, there is a stubborn minority still driving well over the limit. We need better enforcement with use of cameras where necessary but without unnecessary speed bumps.
We must never forget everyone in Camden, not just those who have cars, have a legitimate interest in 20mph zones and safer, more balanced streets. At the same time, I remain very concerned about the anti-social behaviour of a minority of cyclists in riding on pavements and jumping red lights.
Moreover, there is also some reckless behaviour by pedestrians in crossing roads (not that I am holding myself up as a consistent paragon of virtue). For example, the number of people who attempt to cross Haverstock Hill, with children, between the zebra and pelican crossings, never ceases to amaze me.
The measures to tackle the school run have shown that behaviour change is possible, and the council needs to be bold in moving forward on further 20mph zones.
Cllr Andrew Marshall
Conservative, Swiss Cottage ward
PRESCOTT plans to abolish council housing – headline in a national newspaper (24.1.2000).
Councils urged to sell costly assets – headline in same paper (6.4.2000).
Tenants offered cash lump sums to buy own homes – New Journal (13.4.2000) and Tenants offered £25k to move – New Journal (18.10.12).
Just to show it’s not only housing where the council offers solutions; Drivers face 20mph limit – New Journal (10.8.2000) and 20 limit for borough is ‘wishful thinking’ (18.10.12).