Controversy over Tooting and Balham 20mph as drivers’ alliance brands speed limit zones ‘a cancer’

The planned introduction of 20mph speed limits across large parts of Balham and Tooting has been met with both fury and praise.

The decision was made by Wandsworth Council after public consultation found that over 75% of residents in the affected areas supported the idea.

Hugh Bladon, a founding member of the Alliance of British Drivers, told SW Londoner that the 20mph figure was arbitrary.

Mr Bladon said that the planned limit is too fast for some roads and absurdly slow for others.

He said: “Quite frankly it’s like a cancer spreading across the country –it’s not doing any good for anybody.”

The introduction of the 20mph limit has nonetheless been met favourably by others.

Tooting MP Sadiq Khan supports the reduction, and said: “I am delighted that after years of campaigning 20mph zones are finally coming into force.”

A spokesperson for road safety charity Brake agreed: “Widespread 20mph limits are a proven way to reduce casualties and encourage healthy, active lifestyles without a significant impact on journey times.

“With a growing number of forward thinking local authorities, like Tooting and Balham, introducing 20mph limits we believe we’ve reached a tipping point and we’re calling on government to change the default national limit from 30mph to 20mph.”

The speed limits will be introduced to Balham’s Bedford ward and Tooting’s Furzedown ward.

The total cost of making the change, including changing speed limit signs, will be £120,000.

Picture courtesy of Ian Britton, with thanks

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