Petition to: Stop Vehicle Rat-Runs and Pollution

This petition is now closed, as its deadline has passed.

We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to Stop Vehicle Rat-Runs and Pollution. More details

Petition update from the council, 15 September 2017

Dear Cllr Harvey

Petition to: ‘Stop Vehicle Rat-Runs and Pollution’

I am writing in response to the City of Westminster E-petition that you submitted on 17 May 2017, concerning ‘rat runs and pollution’, a copy of which is attached at Appendix 1 for information.

Officers have considered the level of support for the issues raised and consulted with the Cabinet Member for Highways and propose the following actions:

- Expanding the coverage of the current Morpeth Terrace and Ambrosden Avenue 20mph Limits to cover a much wider area bounded by Rochester Row, Vauxhall Bridge Road, Victoria Street and Artillery Row, and;

- Including a 7.5 Tonne ‘Except for Access’ prohibition within the same boundaries, expanding on an imminent scheme to be bounded by Carlisle Place, Ashley Place and Morpeth Terrace.

The current 20mph zone has been implemented through an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO). To extend the zone we will need to undertake a short feasibility study and amend the ETO accordingly.

The 7.5 Tonne restriction has been implemented by a Permanent Traffic Order. To extend the zone a new Traffic Order will be drafted for consultation. Once approved the physical works involved are relatively minor.

I have asked officers to begin work on implementing these changes and my colleague, Hugh Brennan will advise on the likely timescales a soon as possible.

I trust that we have addressed the concerns raised in the petition and if you wish to enquire further about the City Council’s Traffic Management and Road Safety programme please do not hesitate to contact Hugh Brennan (

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Goad
Head of Highways and Public Realm

More details from petition creator

We welcome the prohibition of engine idling and the current proposal by local Councillors that a 20mph speed limit be introduced for traffic in the vicinity of schools around Westminster Cathedral. However, for the reasons set out below, the speed limit will be counter-productive if it is applied to only Morpeth Terrace and Ashley Place and is not accompanied by measure to limit the increasing numbers of commercial and private vehicles which are 'rat running' through the residential area around the cathedral.

- Atmospheric pollution will actually increase at the St Vincent de Paul Primary School if vehicles are required to change speed nearby.

- There are also school properties on Francis Street and Ambrosden Avenue where children and staff will not be helped and may well be harmed by the limited restriction proposed.

- The increasing volume of rat running vehicles on surrounding residential streets (Carlisle Place, Ashley Place, Morpeth Terrace, Thirleby Road, Emery Hill Street, Ambrosden Avenue and Francis Street) in order to avoide heavilt trafficked sections of Victoria Street and Vauxhall Bridge Road is a significant and growing source of pollution and accident risk for school children and residents in the area.

We the undersigned, urge Councillors to reduce traffic risks to residents and children at the three school sites in the Cathedral area by introducing the following effective measures.

- Speed limit of 20mph throughout the Cathedral residential area (bounded by Victoria Street, Vauxhall Bridge Road, Rochester Row and Artillery Row);

- 'NO ENTRY except for access' signs to be placed at the main access points (Victoria Street to Carlisle Place and Thirleby Road; Rochester Row to Willow Place, Stillington Street and Emery Hill Street, Artillery Row to Howick Place and Greencoat Place).

Current signatories

Cllr David Harvey, the petition creator, joined by:

  • 300 offline signatures