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Brent Council accused of snubbing calls for a borough-wide 20mph speed limit

PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 June 2013

Campaigners want Brent to become a 20mpp borough

Campaigners want Brent to become a 20mpp borough

Copyright: Mr. Jan Nevill

Campaigners claim town hall is ‘waiting for an accident to happen’

Council chiefs have been accused of “waiting for an accident to happen” after snubbing calls to consider a borough wide 20mph speed limit for vehicles.

The council says it will only deal with requests for the limit on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the level of accidents in a particular area.

But campaign groups have called for the council to at least consider proposals for a borough-wide 20mph zone.

The calls come following a recent meeting of the council’s highways committee where Cllr Janice Long asked if a report could be submitted investigating a 20mph limit.

However, the request was rejected by the council’s head of transportation.

Among the areas where a 20mph limit will be considered is Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, where there have been 32 accidents, including fatalities, in the past three years.

A consultation was launched last week and Fiona Mulaisho, chair of Kensal Rise Residents Association, said: “For me, one death is enough – the figures here speak for themselves, which is why we campaigned for a limit here.

“The council seems reluctant to engage on a borough wide level – it’s important that they listen because there is a problem. It isn’t keeping in the vision of a greener safer London to be reluctant to introduce 20mph zones.

“Their modus operandi seems to be to just wait and see how many accidents happen in an area, which is wrong.”

Jeremy Leach, London co-ordinator for campaign group 20s Plenty For Us, said: “The borough prides itself on its reduced accident rate which is good as is consulting on 20mph zones, but the problem has been that it hasn’t addressed rates on main roads, which is where most of the accidents happen.

“Implementing small areas is terribly expensive and not cost effective.”

However, a spokesman for the council said: “The council takes a case-by-case approach to the use of 20mph speed limits so that we can concentrate our investment in streets and areas with a history of accidents.

“In cases where we know there to be an accident problem, and where speeds are greater than 24mph, we would only reduce the speed limit in conjunction with traffic management or calming measures that would effectively change the nature of the road and create an environment where a lowered speed limit would be adhered to without relying on enforcement and driver compliance alone.”

Camden, Islington and Southwark have all decided to implement a 20mph limit while Haringey is consulting on the idea.

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