Call for 20mph speed limit on Islington’s main roads

A would-be councillor has launched a campaign to bring the speed limit down to 20mph on the borough’s main roads.

Caroline Allen, who was Islington Green Party’s candidate in Thursday’s St Peter’s ward by-election, is calling for a reduction from 30mph on thoroughfares such as Essex Road and New North Road in Islington and Blackstock Road and Highbury Grove in Highbury.

She says the move would lower the risk of accidents and reduce air and noise pollution.

Ms Allen, who has launched a petition urging Islington Council to act, said: “There are still people being killed on our roads and that’s completely unacceptable. If someone gets hit at 20mph there’s a 97 per cent chance they will survive, but that figure reduces dramatically as the speed rises.”

A 20mph limit was brought in on Islington’s minor roads last year, but Ms Allen wants the measure extended to all council-controlled streets and eventually major thoroughfares run by Transport for London such as Holloway Road and Upper Street.

John Ackers, of Islington Cyclists Action Group, said: “A 20mph limit is a lot less dangerous for cyclists and would mean serious accidents are much less likely.”

But black cab driver Joe Cartwright, of Blundell Street, Holloway, said: “It would be very frustrating. I like to get my passengers to where they’re going as quickly as possible, so I would not like a 20mph limit. If they can prove that certain areas are accident hotspots, then they should just introduce the measure for those sections of roads. I would like to see facts and figures.”

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Cllr Paul Smith, the council’s executive member for the environment, said: “We’re currently reviewing the 20mph policy on side roads, which is a great initiative. If residents want to see it extended they can lobby their councillors and we will listen to what they say.”