The 20mph speed limit in Tower Hamlets has made some roads more dangerous, according to a councillor representing Canary Wharf.

Cllr Andrew Wood questioned whether the limit had benefited road safety in the borough after surveying 427 residents.

He said: “Some roads have become more dangerous because although some drivers drive more slowly many are not. It has resulted in more overtaking, which has increased risks for all users.

“Most residential roads should clearly be 20mph but all roads including A roads? I have followed buses and police cars driving at 30mph even though speed cameras are now issuing tickets at 28mph.

“Residents have sent me videos of dangerous overtaking, including by council vehicles.”

Of the people who answered the questionnaire , more than half believed the roads had become more dangerous.

And when he asked Tower Hamlets Council for its survey of 900 people, it responded saying 53% had disagreed with the speed restriction.

Cllr Andrew Wood

He said: “There is a clear indication that many residents do not think it has made the roads safer and that, like other parts of the UK, we should settle the issue through a referendum.

“The council originally said before it introduced the ban that successful 20mph zones and 20mph speed limits should be self-enforcing.

“How can a ban be self-enforcing when so many people do not agree it has made the roads safer? It also means ambulances drive more slowly on emergency response as they cannot legally drive more than twice the speed limit on any road.”

The 20mph blanket speed ban was introduced in April 2015 onto all the roads the council controls. It is an 18-month test due to end in October.

Cllr Wood said: “I support the 20mph speed ban on the vast majority of roads in Tower Hamlets but I worry that on its own that it won’t improve road safety but that once it is made permanent that more effective safety tools will be ignored.

“I also fear that imposing this on people and on roads like Preston’s and Manchester on the Isle of Dogs will mean that it is not self-enforcing but routinely flouted.

“That brings all laws into disrepute when people start choosing to ignore some laws because they do not respect them.”

Tower Hamlets Council said: “Speed causes about one third of road accidents in the UK. Especially in urban areas, speeding vehicles can adversely affect the quality of life of many communities. Consequently speed limits have been introduced to improve road safety.”

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