Pickles slams Islington’s 20mph speed limit

Eric Pickles: 'Blanket 20mph limit is unreasonable'

Eric Pickles: 'Blanket 20mph limit is unreasonable' - Credit: Archant

Government communities chief Eric Pickles has slammed Islington’s blanket speed limit.

The secretary of state for Communities and Local Government make the comments while being interviewed on how to catch drivers who speed in 20Mph zones.

Being told of the borough’s universal limit, he said: “That’s almost certainly unreasonable and I think it brings the law into contempt.

“But where it’s applied reasonably then I think it’s reasonable to do so.”

Islington Council introduced a 20mph limit across the borough in 2013.

He added: “I think you’ve got to be very careful about where you introduce 20mph zones.

“Some are very important. They can be about the structure that it’s going over, for example Tower Bridge is 20mph and it’s dangerous to the bridge to travel faster than that. I’m very much in favour of home zones, whereby kids can play in the streets.”

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Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “We’re very disappointed the communities secretary doesn’t support our work to create safer streets for people.

“I’d like to invite him to visit Islington and explain to local people why he thinks cars and lorries should be driving faster through our streets, past our homes and schools.”

A spokesman for road safety charity Brake said: “We disagree with Mr Pickles’ comments and we’re in support of Islington Council, who received widespread local support. The minister has got it entirely the wrong way round. It’s our view that decision makers should look carefully at where 30mph limits are kept.

They added: “It’s clear that 20mph limits in communities like Islington can help make boroughs healthier, and more active. We would expect a Government minister to support that view and we are surprised and disappointed at his comments.”