Critics hit out at £900k spent on 20mph road signs

A huge £900,000 budget has been put in place to install a “ludicrous” number of controversial 20mph speed limit signs across Haringey.

The blacked-out signs will be unveiled in February 2016, when the new speed limit will be in force.

There will be more than 4,000 signs erected throughout the borough.

The scheme, which is fully funded by Transport for London (Tfl) through their local-improvement plan, was introduced by Haringey politicians.

There is a focus on putting the 20mph limit in residential streets and those with schools, with major routes and main roads exempt from the restrictions.

According to information released for the first time under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the signs are budgeted to cost £900,000.

Woodland Gardens resident Carola Zentner, who put in the request, said that the amount spent on the signage is “an appalling waste of taxpayer’s money.”

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She criticised the signage on her street, calling it “visual graffiti” which “spoils a beautiful road, completely negating the beauty of the neighborhood.”

Rachel Allison, Chair of the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum, said that the forum supports the 20mph limit, reflecting the views of residents.

She does, however, think that there is a “ludicrous number of signs,” with three or four present just in the Priory Gardens cul-de-sac. She would prefer to see the 20 mph signs painted less obtrusively on the roads, rather than being added to cast iron lamps.

Jenny Poirier, a road safety campaigner and member of Walk Safe N10 and Cross Safe groups, supports lowering speeds on roads, but would also like to see more road calming measures.

She believes that there should be an enforcement of the actual speed limit, plenty of safe crossing places and the limiting of HGV access to local roads.

“Without this the mere provision of 20 MPH signs becomes a meaningless ‘tick box’ exercise as many drivers ignore them with impunity,” she said.

Commenting on the scheme, Scott Lester, interim head of borough projects and programmes said: “Lower speeds have the potential to significantly improve safety in the capital and the introduction of 20mph zones is just one of the ways we are working with boroughs to significantly reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 2020.

“Haringey was granted funding to introduce new 20 mph limits through the Local Implementation Plan (LIP) and the level of funding was typical for a programme of this type. While we allocate funding for individual schemes, each borough is responsible for its LIP and delivery of individual projects.”