20mph speed limits make central London roads the world's slowest in fresh headache for Sadiq Khan

20mph speed limits make central London roads the world's slowest in fresh headache for Sadiq Khan

'Mr Loophole' Nick Freeman on 20mph speed limit roads

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 10/01/2024

- 08:00

Updated: 10/01/2024

- 08:14

'London really is the slowest place in the world to drive a car'

New data has ranked London as being the world’s slowest city centre for drivers because of the number of 20mph roads across the capital.

Research has found that it would take the average motorist 37 minutes and 20 seconds to drive just 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) last year.

London has now been given the unwanted title of being the slowest city centre compared to 387 other cities across 55 countries.

The UK capital has been crowned as the slowest city centre for the second year in a row, with journeys taking one minute longer in 2023 than the previous year.

Traffic and 20mph speed limit

Experts suggested that London did not have the infrastructure to drive quickly


The data, from TomTom, found that Dublin was ranked second, with a 10km trip taking 29 minutes and 30 seconds.

The cities were followed by the Canadian megacity of Toronto (29 minutes), Milan in Italy (28 minutes and 50 seconds) and the capital of Peru, Lima (28 minutes and 30 seconds).

Traffic across the UK remains severe with cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Edinburgh all taking longer than 21 minutes to drive 6.2 miles.

Shockingly, travelling times increased in 2023 for 21 of the 25 UK cities analysed by TomTom, based on a 5km radius of city centres.

Stephanie Leonard, head of government and regulatory affairs for TomTom, said: “London really is the slowest place in the world to drive a car.

“Especially in the core city centre, you don’t have maximum speed limits of 50mph or higher, it’s a maximum of 20mph.

“You don’t have the infrastructure for driving very quickly.”

Mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London have advocated for the introduction of new 20mph speed limit roads across the capital in a bid to slash the number of accidents.

TfL confirmed that 140km (87 miles) of roads in the capital have a speed limit of 20mph, with a further 40 miles of road being added in the last four months of last year.

Sadiq Khan has spoken of his Vision Zero goal, which aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from London’s transport network, with the 20mph roads being a big part of that.

Despite this, Transport Secretary Mark Harper announced that the Government would be looking to crack down on “anti-motorist” policies, including 20mph roads.

The Plan for Drivers stated: “We will make it clear that 20mph speed limits in England must be used appropriately where people want them – not as unwarranted blanket measures.”

Further data from TomTom found that London also had the world’s third highest fuel prices last year, as drivers could save up to £187 per year in fuel costs by avoiding peak hours.

Stephanie Leonard added: “Our analysis of the economic impact of congestion showed that London’s slow-moving traffic and higher fuel consumption made it one of the most expensive cities in the world for driving.


\u200bSadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan's Vision Zero pledge aims to slash road deaths and injuries to zero


“At the same time, local authorities must put support behind programmes that encourage cycling, public transport and other modes to take a larger share in transportation.”

You may like

{% if context.post.roar_specific_data and context.post.roar_specific_data.affiliate_post %} {% elif %} {% endfor %}