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20mph school zones trialled in Westminster

Westminster city council is trialling a 20mph speed restriction on roads around 38 schools within the borough, in a bid to increase walking and cycling.

Starting today (4 September) results from the year-long trial will be used to consider the future rollout of more 20mph limits across the Westminster highway network.

Westminster city council is trialling a 20mph speed restriction on roads around 38 schools

As part of the trial, Vehicle Activated Signs will be used to warn drivers and riders if they are travelling too fast.

The 38 schools included in this trial will also receive a tailored road safety education programme, which will include a school banner competition, theatre show, lessons and on-road pedestrian training to help engage and inform students on the changes.

The trial will primarily be concentrated in several areas in the North and South of the borough as part of a drive to create a safer, healthier and more pleasant environment, according to the council.

Speed and traffic flow data will be gathered from over 70 sensors across the trial roads to assess the impact of the trial.

Walking and cycling

Councillor Danny Chalkley, cabinet member for city highways, said: The trial supports Westminsters aim of improving the public realm for all road users and we hope that more people will be encouraged to walk and cycle.

By placing schools at the centre of the trial, we are ensuring a safer environment for our youngest residents.

We are encouraged by the high level of support received for the trial from residents.

A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police said: The Metropolitan Police have been consulted by Westminster city council throughout the 20mph trial and are working collaboratively to improve road safety in Westminster.

Air quality

20mph speed limits in urban areas are among the measures recommended in recent guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published this summer as being effective in improving air quality.

According to NICE, 20mph zones can encourage a reduced steady speed for longer stretches of road, and avoid emissions from acceleration and deceleration.

A range of measures to address emissions from vehicles have been implemented within Westminster, including action to tackle engine idling as well as an increase in parking charges for diesel vehicles.

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