The ‘Westminster Chronicle’ reports;
“Westminster Living Streets is demanding that a 20mph speed limit is imposed throughout Westminster.
Westminster Living Streets says Westminster Council should follow the example of neighbouring boroughs Islington, Camden and Southwark by introducing the lower speed limit. The organisation claims the reduction would reduce serious accidents to all road users by at least 40 per cent.
It has also made another dramatic plea to pedestrianise Oxford Street and Parliament Square to make busy streets safer for people to live, work and shop.
Last year nine people were killed in accidents in Westminster and a further 184 were seriously injured, according to Transport for London (TfL).
The figures show that more people were killed or seriously injured in Westminster than in any other London borough last year, with deaths increasing by 50 per cent and serious injuries by 19 per cent.
The group is critical of the fact that fewer that one per cent of roads in Westminster, the City of London and Kensington and Chelsea have a 20mph speed limit.
That percentage is the lowest in the capital and Westminster has only one road with a 20mph limit – Exhibition Road.
Peter Hartley, Westminster Living Streets chairman, said: “The situation is so serious that we have produced our ‘vision statement’, which calls on those responsible to act.
“In particular, they should introduce an immediate 20mph speed limit, pedestrianise Oxford Street and Parliament Square and review all thoroughfares in Westminster to see where the public realm can be dramatically improved.
“It would also make a real reduction in the awful pollution that so affects the health of our residents.”
The group’s latest report, A Vision for Westminster: A World Class Place to Walk, states that the borough has some of the busiest streets in Europe with more than 1.7 million walking journeys made in and around central London daily.
An estimated 600,000 cars enter the capital every day.
Westminster Council said it would be difficult to police a lower speed limit and pointed out that the average speed of traffic is 11mph because of regular heavy congestion.
A spokesman said: “Westminster engages with many groups on road safety and transport, but the council is yet to be convinced a 20mph speed limit is fully enforceable by police.”