20mph speed limit rollout by Lewisham Council (effective September 2016)

they are - everywhere!



I can’t say I’m all that happy about it in general, but it should be targeted at roads like this

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20mph limits are not the solution.

They infuriate drivers, and the last thing we want are more angry drivers on the road.

Bad drivers will ignore 20mph limits in any case, leading to good and bad drivers having dangerously divergent driving styles on the same road.

We may not always agree in many other areas of society, but I agree on this. This is not going to work.

I drive at 20mph along Sydenham Hill (as per the limit) and you can feel the drivers behind you sitting on your tail swearing at you!


Cranston is a 20mph anyway, doesn’t do much for it, so would not have an impact on the rest I don’t think.
It becoming a regular check area would help.
Like 20mph zones, physical restrictions can also cause frustration and outbursts especially on corners, with buses and heavy vehicles involved.

Sydenham Hill’s 20mph is a prime example, when you watch the speed people burst into after passing the camera to pass the “annoying person” doing the speed limit for the whole road.

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Lewisham council have committed to more 20mph limits being imposed unfortunately, and the rollout will come into effect in September

I’m sure a study was found that showed some benefits in 20mph zones, but I suspect most of the negative consequences of 20mph limits will be seen just outside the zones themselves - particularly on junctions where a 20mph zone meets a (more sensible) 30mph zone.

In fairness the thought process behind where and where is not a 20mph has always been flawed.
Here for example. Sydenham Hill, 20mph all the way along… However turn onto one of the side roads, like the tights roads of Droitwich Close, and it is even signed as a 30mph again. How does that work?

The much wider Crescent Wood remains 20mph

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As for the evidence supporting 20mph zones:

20mph limits changing driver behaviour - for the worse:

And for safety?

The people who are most likely to speed and cause an accident don’t give two hoots for. 20mph zone.


I actually emailed the council yesterday specifically to ask them to address the issue of speeding on the stretch of Stanstead Rd that forms a triangle with the South Circular (around Rockbourne Rd). They responded to inform me that they were introducing 20mph limits across the borough. As I pointed out in response, if motorists are already ignoring existing limits and speeding I don’t understand how lowering the limit solves that problem and forces a change in motorists behaviour?!

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Exactly. It may affect good drivers - it will slow them down. But bad drivers will continue to break the limit. And now they’ll encounter other vehicles moving at 20mph. Sounds risky to me.

20mph limits will be ineffective, in that no one will respect them. It will affect our driving attitudes. I worry that people will stop taking speed limits seriously in general…

@anon17648011 Another target for the Community Speed Checks I am trying to get sorted out.

Sounds like a cluster of roads being properly identified now. Surely that will be enough for the Ward Panel to present to the local Police to extend the program.


In what other areas is poor enforcement and anger just to be accepted?

If the Journal of Public Health comes out in favour of a policy, why should some dissenting expert in the Guardian be taken as authoritative?

Can we just have good drivers, and drive bad drivers off the road? Aren’t they the ones who might be getting angry? If I’m a good driver, who does obey the rules, don’t I have a right to expect others to do so?

There are many roads where the 20mph speed limit makes sense. For me, Sydenham Hill isn’t one of them, yet it’s one with an active camera. I sincerely hope it is being used to monitor the bullying and dangerous overtaking that now goes on.

One of the problems is the implementation of the new speed limits on a borough-by-borough basis. This is why you can leave a 20mph main road and turn into a 30 mph side road when you cross a borough boundary. When I learned to drive, I learned the Highway Code which gave default speed limits per type of road, unless sign posted otherwise or conditions dictate a slower speed. Does being constantly on the lookout for signs aid safe driving?


Sadly it will only catch stills of actual offenders. However a speed watch would be able to record information such as bullying I am sure.

As for the point about constantly having to look for signs for bus lanes, speed restrictions, parking restrictions, schools, ducks crossing etc… It is a distraction for sure.
I would welcome a logical re-write of the speed limits, but don’t think a blanket 20mph on all residential roads is an answer.

The mystery of Droitwich Close lives on. Can’t see any logical explanation for that, and would love Lewisham to answer my emails about it one day.

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Sydenham Hill is in Southwark, presumably Droitwich Close is in Lewisham. When Southwark implemented their changes and new signs were painted, I think they marked up where the default still holds. If Lewisham haven’t specifically designated it as 20, then it’s still officially 30. It’s the same at the junction of Sydenham Hill and Wells Park Road. New markings for 30 mph at the end of the latter. Could that be it?

Aaaah I stand corrected, thank you @RachaelDunlop

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From this thread I’ll make a list of the Roads mentioned for the next Ward Panel meeting re “Community Speed Checks”. if I’m not able to make it I’ll pass it on to @Michael or email it.


Thanks @Pauline

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Two things:

  • What annoys me about 20mph limits is that 30mph was deemed safe for many years, and cars are orders of magnitude safer now (better brakes, better tyres) than they were 20 years ago. So what next? 15mph? 10? It is nanny state run amok.

  • 20mph on Sydenham Hill is just dangerous.


In addition to Stanstead Rd’s problem with speeding we have another menace in the form of motorised scooters (driven by delivery drivers and local teenagers racing) who use the segregated cycle lane. It’s incredibly dangerous and anti social. I’ve raised it before with council and police and suggested camera enforcement of the cycle lane but they don’t seem unduly bothered…