A proactive appraoch to road safety in Wandsworth Borough

As our roads get busier, many people complain about road safety as residents, pedestrians, cyclists and even motorists face increasing dangers. Current policy only allows officers to look at improving street design after 3 people have been killed or seriously injured in a 3 consecutive year period, or 25% of households in a given area have petitioned for change is fit for purpose

This is ludicrous, and is reactive policy making with no strategy for road safety. As a result we have a patchwork of schemes and roads with different speed limits in Wandsworth causing confusion. “Rat runs” are increasing, and causing traffic incidents across the Borough, like at the junction of Upper Tooting Road, Lessingham Avenue and Ansell Road – the 5th most dangerous spot for cyclists in London!

At Upper Tooting Road and Lessingham Avenue, Tooting, the 5th most dangerous junction for cyclists in London

At Upper Tooting Road and Lessingham Avenue, Tooting, the 5th most dangerous junction for cyclists in London

To change this, Wandsworth Liberal Democrats, and I, have started a petition to ask Wandsworth Council to take the following actions to improve road safety:

  • Ensure that all residential roads have a speed limit of 20mph
  • Work proactively with resident associations / civic societies and local residents to identify further areas where 20 mph limits on their own are not sufficient

Please sign our petition here

Numerous Councils in London have introduced 20mph residential zones, such as Lambeth, Camden and Islington. 20mph zones can be done on most streets without the need for any physical calming, some streets may be appropriate to have a higher limit but any limit above 20mph should be a considered decision based on local circumstances. The opposite of today’s policy.

In Portsmouth, when 20mph was introduced, road traffic incidents declined by a third. Imagine the reduction in demand for A&E! Safer streets also encourages cycling, increasing the health benefits to residents.

A more proactive approach to road safety which is based on changes to legislation, has proven benefits to both residents, health services and is more cost efficient to implement by the Council than introducing speed bumps and actively consulting on every other road.

Sign the petition today, and together we can deliver safer streets in Wandsworth.

P.S. I have written to Boris Johnson, as Chair of TfL, and Wandsworth Borough Council to ask what actions they are taking to improve road safety on Upper Tooting Road / Lessingham Avenue and Ansell Road.

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