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Hackney joins move towards 20mph speed limits in towns

Hackney Council this week became the latest local authority to say that it wanted to introduce a 20mph speed limit on all of its residential streets.

A motion passed by council leaders in the east London borough last week stated that "the council believes that residents, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists would all benefit from a 20mph safety limit and that therefore the standard speed limit on streets within the borough of Hackney should be 20mph with only very limited exceptions".

Local authorities are allowed to introduce 20mph speed limits enforced by repeater signs on streets where the average speed of a vehicle does not exceed 24mph. There are already plans to have 20mph zones to be enforced by cameras on some high profile London streets including Camden High Street.

Outside the capital, Portsmouth City Council has already launched a trial 20mph limit for residential streets. Results of the trial are expected to be published later this year.

Hackney's initiative was widely welcomed by road safety groups. Parliamentary Committee for Transport Safety executive director Robert Gifford said: "There is evidence that 20mph speed limits reduce casualties and also create an environment where more people are likely to walk and cycle."

Hackney's initiative follows a statement last week from Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone that he wanted to see a 20mph speed limit on all residential roads in London, a policy that could see 20mph limits imposed on roads operated by Transport for London.

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