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


Thanks for this information. I may wrote to the council to get evidence of the TMOs. It will be a game-changer if we find out their limits aren’t binding.

May also explain why the Association of Chief Police officers was so skeptical about borough-wide limits.


Once you have confirmation of the presence or absence of an appropriate TMO, then there will be hard evidence that validates what so far is an anecdotal report of a discussion with an officer who for all we know may be commenting on rumours that they have in turn heard.

Any identification of a missing TMO will be subject of formal reporting by police to the relevant authority and it would be very remiss of that party not to take corrective action - particularly given the high-profile borough wide nature of this scheme.

And omissions have been found before.


Given that their publicised delivery schedule begins with a specific step for applying for Traffic Orders - I’d be amazed if was forgotten.



Is it possible they did apply but didn’t get a response, or a final, approved TMO?


And here is a starter for ten on 20mph TMO’s


A table in the middle of the link makes reference to Traffic order applications commencing in Mar 2016 and finishing in July 2016.

There is no evidence it was completed and from preliminary searches it would seem TMO’s are not so frequently published now.

My legislative knowledge is insufficient to comment on whether there is an obligation to publish.

Oops duplicating with @armadillo.

There is hard evidence from other matters where officers have not complied with or departed from their standard processes as exampled during the listing of the Bell Green gasometers…


here are public record of notice of two Lewisham 20mph traffic orders. Along with everyone else so far I don’t know what process apart from this publication needs to be followed to make 20mph enforceable.

I understand that some roads are actually too short to allow enforcement to take place. Presumably that would apply whatever the speed limit is.

The second traffic order refers to ‘to enable the Police to better enforce the 20 mph speed limit restrictions in Lewisham, by specifically identifying each length of street involved in the Order.’, so specifically to help the police in their enforcement.


I’d speculate that the second order is something to do with this, from a well known pro 20mph web source.
‘In order for the police to enforce a limit then they require a clear distance for them to observe drivers and for drivers to see them. This may make certain sites less suitable for speed detection. Different measurement equipment are available. Whilst in the past some “radar” based speed detectors were not approved for use below 30mph, most forces have “laser” type devices that are fully approved for use at 20mph.’


Thanks for the links. Those look like records of proposals by Lewisham Council. In both documents the language of the clauses is very much “would be” rather than “is”.

I have raised an FoI to get the actual Traffic Order documents and their coverage over the borough.


But when driving you should always obey all traffic signs and road markings. How is Joe Blogs from Scunthorpe, down here on holiday, supposed to know that because of a technicality, the signed speed limit is unenforceable?
Its simple, the speed limit signs and road markings are there, anything other than obeying them is stupid.


Out of curiosity, would you say the same if Lewisham Council decides the limits will be 10mph tomorrow? Or 5mph?

How low would the limit have to be before you’d consider obeying the limit “stupid”?


I would find it highly amusing if speed checks were targetted to Lewisham councillors and perhaps even the Mayor!
Publication of the findings would be very interesting and possibly the quickest way to change the limits.

I recall there was a volunteer service to monitor speeds could a good location be near the council offices


Is this a suggestion that officials of the Council are more likely than others to speed or flout the speed limits? Why would one think they require more scrutiny as drivers? I wonder what our councillors like @CllrPaulUpex or @MajaHilton or @John_Paschoud would think of these suggestions?



Like this chap:

How thoughtful of him!


FWIW I think “targeting” of automated speed enforcement would breach several MPS protocols, whether the targeting was at holders of elected office or any other personal characteristics - except perhaps an established history of speeding or other motoring offences. It would also be a waste of resources. Responsible drivers (including bus drivers) keeping to the limits will help to make them happen, by holding up the few who would like to drive dangerously faster.


My point is that the 20mph limit is unworkable without expensive monitoring and enforcement. It is also overkill especially on todays roads.Whilst I have no doubts that our public servants are responsible drivers, I do not believe they are faultless so a confirmation that ‘responsible’ people can fail may help in future decision making.


Doesn’t prove the not enforceable allegation one way or another, but perhaps worth noting that the second traffic order notice from 2017 refers to amending the first one, 2015 which it indicates as already being in force.


Bus drivers are not necessarily all good either. Some are, of course, but the whole of Hackney is also a 20mph zone, and I’m regularly on buses that are exceeding the speed limit.

I would hope that a council would not be stupid enough to try to implement a Borough wide speed limit of 5 or 10mph, without significant reasoning, but if they did, then I’d probably follow it.


and after a quick search, this is the public record showing that the traffic order was duly made and published by Lewisham. Unless anyone can say why this is not legitimate, it looks as though we do have a 20mph speed limit after all.


Looks conclusive - having examined it closely it leaves no doubt that a lawful statement has been made thus:

“1. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Lewisham Borough Council on 22nd May 2017 made the above-mentioned Order under sections 84(1)(a) and (2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, which will come into operation on 1st June 2017.”

This is unquestionable evidence of the validity of the 20 mph controls for all motor vehicles in the borough.

Note the the language and tense - “made” and not “would be”.

It leaves only one question - why would a knowledgeable officer speculate to a member of the public about whether the 20 mph controls are enforceable ?

Perhaps he was being mischievous - will we ever know ?.

I would appeal for people to be reasonable - don’t exceed twenty mph - it’s not as if you are being required to restore the man with the red flag walking a few paces in front of you.


Perhaps there are loopholes (of the “road too short for radar enforcement” type), or perhaps other subsequent TMOs that change the parameters? The documentation suggests two or three TMOs in the space of a few years - that we’re aware of

One or two interesting arguments here (note: an old forum topic):



Well there we all are.

We should be assured that this maxim now holds true:

“For all who will take up the loophole, will die by the loophole”