Monday, 13 October 2008

Assembly consider investigation into 20mph zones

The London Assembly Transport Committee are considering an investigation into the costs and benefits of 20 mph zones after a recent bid for a borough-wide zone was rejected by the Mayor.

Lewisham Council agreed to implement a borough-wide zone earlier this year but have since had their bid rejected by Boris Johnson on 'money-saving grounds.'

Now that decision will be tested by the proposal for a thorough investigation into the zones.

According to a report sent to the London Assembly:

 The likelihood of a pedestrian being killed when hit by a vehicle increases according to the speed of the vehicle. Research by the Department for Transport suggests that a pedestrian  hit at 30mph has a 1 in 5 chance of dying; at 20mph the figure is 1 in 40.6 

Financial implications 

Reducing casualties also has the benefit of saving money. Estimates by the Department for Transport were that traffic incidents where a person was killed or seriously injured cost an average of £134,000. The average cost of a fatality is £1.19 million.
By contrast, it is estimated that the cost of setting up 'speed over time' cameras to police a borough-wide zone would be just £1 million.

The report also cites evidence that 20 mph zones improve the flow of traffic, which is purportedly one of Boris Johnson's main transport aims.

It also counters claims that the zones increase traffic speed elsewhere, and makes it clear that major thoroughfares would have to be excluded from the zones.

However, although 20 mph zones have been shown to significantly reduce casualties and costs, there is not thought to have been sufficient research into all of the effects of the establised 'blanket-zones.'

The proposed investigation would seek to fill in some of those gaps. The Transport Committee will discuss the proposal this Thursday.


chris said...

Under Boris 'value for money' seems to have become a catch all phrase which can seemingly mean whatever he wants it to mean at the time. This time it seems to mean that he will not pass anything that will remotely anger the Clarkson crowd, regardless of it's cost, the democratic decisions of those people he pretends to champion, or the expert analysis of people who actually know what they're talking about. Why not let Lewisham do what they want and then use it as a pilot? Other applicant boroughs could then be put off for a couple of years, and we could find out how well it works.

Tom said...

'Work With Some Of The Boroughs', as it now has to be formulated. Certainly Southwark and Barking & Dagenham seem to get the shaft rather than the 24 carat handjob lovingly bestowed on K&C, LBHF etc.

As for value for money, since this includes scrapping schemes with a positive cost-benefit ratio (20mph zones may well have, given the value ascribed to lives saved) and persisting with the bendy lunacy, I can only assume Boris is reading the definition backwards.

ch paul said...

Southwark aren't doing to well out of this glorious new relationship with the boroughs either. Or Woolwich and Thamesmead for that matter.

Anonymous said...

This is not a Travelwatch investigation, the paper is a proposal to commission Jenny Jones AM to do an investigation into 20mph zones on behlaf of the Assembly Transport Committee..

The Troll said...

You're quite right. My mistake.

The Troll said...

I have corrected my silly error. I must have confused the report with the other Travelwatch business being discussed at the meeting.