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Labour council u-turn and agree to look at Lib Dem 20mph plan

by Haringey Lib Dems on 20 May, 2013

Lib Dem councillors and residents campaigning for a 20mph zone

Haringey Council have u-turned and will be consulting on implementing a borough wide 20mph zone having twice previously rejected the idea. Neighbouring Camden and Islington have already agreed to implement borough wide 20mph zones in their areas.

The consultation on the proposals is due to be approved on 18th June when the idea will be discussed at the council’s Cabinet.

The Liberal Democrats have campaigned locally for the change arguing that the costs involved are justified by the reduction in accidents and injuries, which have been experienced in other parts of the country where the zones have been introduced.

Money is available for the scheme; Haringey Council’s own figures show a surplus of £5,544,000 made from parking, an increase over last year of £2,211,000. Camden Council claims that statistics from Transport for London show a more than 20% fall in accidents in Belsize Park, which has had a 20mph zone since 2006.

However, in October last year, the Labour Cabinet Member for the Environment, Nilgun Canver, said:

“Introducing a borough-wide 20mph limit would cost approximately £3.2m and studies have been inconclusive in proving how useful they are. As such, I consider it imprudent to introduce a borough-wide limit when the evidence does not yet prove its effectiveness.”

The council’s Cabinet also decided not to consult on the introduction of a 20mph limit on residential roads in the borough in July 2011.

The Liberal Democrats have campaigned for the introduction of a borough wide 20mph limit since 2010. Hundreds of local residents have signed a Lib Dem petition calling for the introduction of a 20mph zone.

Cllr Richard Wilson, Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition, comments:

“I am delighted that Labour have seen sense, u-turned and agreed to consult on a borough wide 20mph zone following  years of Lib Dem campaigning. It is shame they have decided to wait so long as they have rejected this idea twice in recent years.

“I wonder how many accidents would have been prevented if Labour had listened to local residents when our Lib Dem campaign was launched back in 2010 and adopted the lower speed limit back then?  It is frustrating that Haringey is always playing catch-up rather than leading the way like other London boroughs.”

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