Borough wide 20mph speed limit

Every road that Southwark controls has a speed limit of 20mph

Southwark believes that a borough wide 20mph speed limit is the most cost effective method to reduce collisions, encourage more sustainable forms of travel such as walking and cycling and help improve air quality.

Research shows that on urban roads with low traffic speeds, any 1mph reduction in average speed can reduce the collision frequency by around 6% (Taylor, Lynam and Baruya (2000). So even a modest reduction of 1mph average speed could reduce the number of collisions by 56 collisions a year in Southwark (based on 2012 data). There's also clear evidence confirming the greater chance of survival of pedestrians at lower speeds.

Similar schemes in Portsmouth and Bristol resulted in an average decrease of speed of 1 to 2mph. In Bristol cycling and walking increased by over 12% following implementation.

Southwark's 20mph scheme, which was completed on the 16 March 2015, has been reviewed. Roads where speeds remained high (in excess of 24mph) will now be addressed by way of physical speed reduction measures, subject to the necessary consultation and approvals.

You can view the pre and post monitoring of speeds (pdf, 53kb), which was completed in 2015.

A full report has been since be completed that targets roads with average speeds exceeding 24mph and includes recommendations on what physical measures can be implemented to further reduce speeds. View the report (pdf, 8.8mb).

In the meantime, the council will continue a comprehensive communication and publicity campaign to raise awareness and encourage compliance and are working with the police on targeted speed enforcement.

For more information, view our 20mph speed limit FAQ (pdf, 314kb).

Page last updated: 06 May 2021

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