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Golders Green mum celebrates victory in six-month battle to introduce 20mph speed limit

Katherine Travers on North End Road. Picture: Nigel Sutton. Katherine Travers on North End Road. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Friday, April 4, 2014
10:00 AM

A mother-of-two who waged a six-month campaign to increase safety at a notorious accident blackspot is celebrating victory after Barnet Council agreed to cut the speed limit.

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Katherine Travers began lobbying the council to reduce the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph in North End Road, Golders Green, in October, setting up an online petition and blog calling for change.

The stretch of road, used by pupils at King Alfred School and Clowns Nursery School, has long been a concern for residents and was the scene of two pedestrian deaths in 2004 and 2007.

On Wednesday last week, the council’s Finchley and Golders Green area environment sub-committee agreed to introduce a 20mph limit along the road as a matter of priority, ahead of a future review of road safety in the area.

Ms Travers, who lives in North End Road, said: “It’s brilliant. All my councillors were fantastic. King Alfred was trying for so long to get better measures and to get the traffic to slow down, so they’ve been really supportive.

“It’s a positive win. A large review will be hugely beneficial.”

Hampstead Garden Suburb councillor Daniel Seal, who sits on the environment sub-committee, described the introduction of the speed limit as a “plaster on the wound”.

“Our objective is that we want a solution that will put safety first and if we feel we need to give 20mph a go, we’ll give it a go,” he said.

“Then we’ll assess if that has solved the problem or if we need to do something else.

“The problem is, if you put a 20mph limit in, then the next road will want 20mph and then the next road will want 20mph. We are trying to be a bit more strategic.”

In January, the Ham&High reported Ms Travers’s concerns that North End Road had become a “death trap” for schoolchildren following the introduction of Camden’s borough-wide 20mph speed limit.

Last year, Camden Council introduced 20mph speed limit signs outside the Old Bull and Bush pub, in North End Way, Hampstead.

This was quickly followed by the arrival of new 30mph signs further down the road – across the border with Barnet – in North End Road.

Ms Travers said the new one-way 30mph signs were encouraging drivers to speed up as they entered Barnet from Camden, travelling towards King Alfred School, in North End Road.

“Camden went to a borough-wide 20mph and then we had a speed increase which made the problem even worse,” she said.

On Wednesday, Barnet Council’s cabinet was due to consider recommendations from a task force convened to explore a borough-wide approach to 20mph speed limits.

The recommendations to cabinet included the introduction of a “dedicated policy on 20mph limits and zones” and to allow “any schools in the borough to opt-in for a 20mph limit”.

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