Westminster’s two main parties are now fighting to take credit for 20mph speed limits: the May 2018 local election results will be good news for supporters of lower, safer speeds on our roads.
On 26 January 2018 the Westminster Conservative Group announced that, if they continued to lead the Council after the May 2018 local elections, they would consult residents throughout Westminster on extending the 20mph scheme. Conservative Leader, Councillor Nickie Aiken, said “Our current 20mph trial is proving popular with residents and seems to be having a positive effect on slowing traffic around the pilot schools. It therefore, seems sensible to seek to roll out the scheme in other areas where there are concerns about speeding vehicles. If residents are keen to introduce 20mph then we will deliver. Our aim of rolling out 20mph across the City is part of our determination to create a cleaner, greener, healthier and more pleasant environment. We will also continue to lobby the Metropolitan Police to encourage more enforcement of the speed limit.”
The Westminster Labour Group responded that this has been part of their manifesto since 2010 and they are also committed to consulting residents throughout Westminster if they gain control in May 2018. Labour Councillor David Boothroyd replied to Councillor Nickie Aiken on Twitter: “So I guess you've forgotten that day in January 2010 when you voted against 20mph zones anywhere in Westminster?” (See https://twitter.com/220_d_92_20/status/957338703629881344)
The Conservative-led Westminster City Council approved a trial of 20mph speed limits near schools in September 2016. After design work and installation of signage including Vehicle-Activated Signs that record speeds and illuminate to remind road users of the limit, the 20mph speed limit trial commenced in September 2017. The trial consists of 20mph speed limits in small pockets at around 40 schools and also covering two larger residential areas; the first is east of Edgware Road – where there is a cluster of schools – and the second is Maida Vale / Maida Hill – where there was local pressure for a 20mph speed limit. (See https://www.westminster.gov.uk/20mph-trials for a map.)