The introduction of a borough-wide 20mph speed limit could help towards reversing the rising trend in serious accidents taking place in Richmond, according to the council.

Latest accident figures released by TfL show the borough’s serious accidents are rising at a faster rate than overall numbers in outer London. From 2016 to 2017 the number of people killed or seriously injured in the borough rose by 6 per cent to 77 compared to a 1 per cent rise across Outer London.

The main causes of this increase are linked to car involvement, in many cases inappropriate speed or driver behaviour. Evidence from across the country suggests that for every 1mph decrease in speed the accident rate would fall by approximately 5 per cent.

Driving slower also results in less severe injuries to pedestrians and cyclists in cases where accidents occur – the rate of fatalities drop from 80 per cent when a vehicle is driving between 20mph and 40mph to 5 per cent when driving between 0mph and 20mph.

However, Stuart McKean, Whitton strongly opposes the proposed change. He states that according to figures on the AA website that show that driving at 20 mph means cars release more CO2 emission. He said: "Not only is the proposed change bad for the environment but I have seen cyclists and buses drive well over 20 mph, if the plans to go through I hope they are also affected by them."

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Cabinet Member for Transport, Streetscene and Air Quality said: “At a time where this borough’s severe accidents are rising at a greater rate than the outer-London average we need to be focusing on finding solutions to improve the safety of our roads.

“We know from other locations, such as Brighton, which have introduced a 20mph limit that there is a demonstrable improvement to the safety of all road users with reductions in serious collisions and fatalities.

“It is vital that we move to address the worsening severity of accidents we are seeing on the roads and the introduction of a 20mph has proved to be a successful way to do this.”

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