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New 20mph traffic zones to be trialled in London

Transport for London has announced plans to trial new 20 mph zones in London in an effort to reduce accidents and casualties on London's streets. The pilot is to start with Commercial Street in Tower

Transport for London has announced plans to trial new 20 mph zones in London in an effort to reduce accidents and casualties on London's streets. The pilot is to start with Commercial Street in Tower Hamlets in April, but is expected to be widened to areas including the A10, the "Shoreditch Triangle", with TfL also looking at Upper Street and Holloway Road, Westminster Bridge, Stamford Street and Southwark Street, Brixton Town Centre, Clapham High Street, Earls Court Road, Kings Cross Road and Farringdon Road, and Camden Street.

These plans are part of the Mayors Road Safety strategy to lower deaths and serious injuries on London's roads by 40%. In a study published in the British Medical Journal, the introduction of a 20 mph zones in London was associated with a 41.9% reduction in road casualties, with the reductions being greatest for casualties amongst younger children and for the category of being killed or seriously injured.

However recent data analysed by the Institute of Advanced Motorists appears to show that the number of accidents in 20 mph zones is on the increase.

Jill Greenfield, solicitor with Fieldfisher says: "We believe that the 20mph zones are a step in the right direction, particularly on London's crowded streets, however more research needs to be carried out and urgently into why the number of serious injuries occurring in 20 mph zones is increasing so rapidly. According to the Highway Cost the typical stopping distance of a car travelling at 20 mph is roughly half of that of a car stopping at 30 mph.  The difficulty is however that many of the accidents that we see with cyclists are no in fact related to speed but rather are in relation to a cyclist being hit by a HGV generally turning left and simply not taking sufficient care."