Local road safety is so important. Too often, we hear horror stories about fatal accidents which could have been avoided on our streets and roads.
Yet, when I walk around the streets of Haringey I do sometimes see cars going too fast while children and other pedestrians try to cross the road and walk along the pavement safely. Speeding cars also pose a danger to cyclists.
That’s why the local Lib Dems, residents groups and I have long campaigned for a 20mph speed limit on our residential roads, town centre roads, and on roads which are close to schools.
We surveyed thousands of local people on this last year – and the majority of residents agreed that a 20mph limit should be introduced on these roads. On that basis, the local Lib Dems and I pushed Haringey Council to consult, and to make a decision.
And we have finally been successful!
It has been a long campaign. The Labour-run council put off consulting with residents for so long, and then planned to have a blanket 20mph speed limit on all roads in the borough. This put many people off – because such a restriction on major roads in and out of the borough would be just unfeasible. Here, the focus should surely be on other traffic calming measures, like better railings and lane restrictions.
They then delayed announcing the consultation results (until after the local elections.)
But now, finally, Haringey Council have announced a 20mph limit for cars on residential roads, town centres roads and near schools in Haringey (just like we suggested originally and campaigned for) at their Council Cabinet meeting.
I know there is some local opposition to the scheme – and in an ideal world such a restriction would not need to be applied. But accidents do happen, and I am fully behind 20mph if it will save lives.
There are also questions about enforcement – and I will be making further enquiries to the council about how the limit will be monitored and enforced.
It will be months before new speed limit signs are put up, but we will keep up the pressure on Haringey Council to act quickly. We have waited for this vital road safety improvement for long enough!
In the meantime, I will continue to push for repairs to our roads to make them safer for cars, pedestrians and cyclists. Despite assurances from the council about ‘pothole blitzes’ and repairs – we have seen precious little in the way of decent improvements to our roads.
Some of them, like Colney Hatch Lane, Shepherds Hill and St James Lane need complete resurfacing – and I won’t rest until it happens!