Lewisham borough wide 20mph speed limit – update


See: Council Meeting Notes



The budget for 2018-2020 is roughly £1,168,988.

A 0.5 mph reduction has been achieved so far. No evidence forthcoming of improvements in safety.

Let’s see what happens next…

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0.5 mph for over £1 million. Bargain.


And they’re still like a dog with a bone on this issue!

Meanwhile, many of the borough’s essential services are still being starved of funding. It really beggars belief!


So, if those figures are accurate it means to achieve a 10mph reduction it would cost £23,379,760. Thats quite a bit of road policing that we are missing out on.


I wonder what local police think about councils cutting youth services and instead spending their money on “thank you for driving at 20mph” signs?


With all the police cuts and low wages, moral etc they must drive past those signs and feel really really great.


Great idea. Bring them on everywhere.


At a cost of £100,000 per mile, why not.


Average speed cameras on these roads are simply going to push speeding traffic onto the side roads, which are less suitable and more likely to result in contact between vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists, imo. I think we already see some evidence of this, as drivers try to escape the 15mph drivers by rat running the residential roads. Putting average cameras everywhere would be extremely expensive and probably result in a lot of registration plate fraud (stolen/ missing/ made up plates).

Why not just invest in the police so they can police the roads? It’s not all about speed. There’s poor observation, close passes on cyclists, lights that blind oncoming vehicles, mobile phone use, smoking cannabis at the wheel etc… etc… No average speed camera is going to pick that up. Combine enforcement with a justice system that doesn’t see driving as some sort of right and we could see a serious reduction in pollution and congestion.

Lewisham Council should probably stop thinking up new ways to try and make their failed experiment work and accept that it’s just a carbon copy of other previous experiments in 20mph, which have also failed. Far better to target the roads which need and are suited to 20mph. ie small residential side roads, those passing schools and shops etc…

It’s truly laughable that they think bigger signs might help. There are massive 20mph signs painted on the road. So drivers are either totally incapable of observation, or they are just ignoring the limit for whatever reason. I’d suggest it’s because they think it’s stupid on wide roads which are main routes and see buses and police ignoring it too. I also think it has eroded the effectiveness of the 20mph limits there were on side roads and outside schools, by lumping them in with main roads they can’t put calming measures onto, because they are bus routes. I don’t use buses much at all, but if I did, the bus doing 20mph in between stops would probably do my head in.


I’ve just recently seen Tfl data for average bus speeds in the borough of Hackney. it can be split into Sat, Sun, Mon-Fri, and each of these split into ON (Overnight) AM (am peak) IN (intern peak) and PM (pm peak). When I looked at pm peak M-F, the fastest section has an average speed of only 16mph. Hackney is also a borough with an almost blanket 20mph limit on all roads. I’m often on buses going faster than 20mph, but it is happening less often now than 12 months ago.


Increase the limit back to 30MPH and then put in average speed cameras. At the moment, without fail if you drive up roads like Catford Hill, Beckenham Hill, Perry Vale at 20MPH you will get tailgated all the way and often overtaken by spitting mad other drivers. 20 MPH is causing unsafe overtaking all the time making it less safe.

Alternatively we can all drive mopeds with no insurance/tax etc and be left to do whatever speed we like on the roads without fear of reprisal.


Now that is a good idea.

I’d happily volunteer to help take down all the 20mph signage and carry it to the scrapyard.


Including all roads such as residential?


The 20mph limit cannot be enforced in side roads. It’s written into the TMO.

So, we either adopt the standard 30mph limits, or we have merely symbolic 20mph limits that are not enforced and not respected, eroding any psychological power that speed limits have altogether.


For those of us who want to look after our suspensions, the 20 mph speed limit is effectively enforced in side roads by speed bumps.


If only. I live on a side road with speed bumps and what tends to happen is that people accelerate between the speed cushions, adding a noise disturbance to the speed one.


This is still not true. On GLA Roads and Side Roads the enforceable limit is controlled by the GLA. On all other Lewisham Roads, what we think of as residential roads, it is 20mph. I think this has been explained before on here.

Some roads are designated in legislation as ‘GLA Roads’, these are the red routes like the South Circular.

Some roads are designated ‘GLA Side Roads’, these typically run off a red route for a matter of some metres, “in the interests of the management of traffic and the control of the waiting and loading of vehicles on or in the immediate vicinity of GLA roads”. Here’s the list of GLA Side Roads for Lewisham, in a Local Govt Order dated 2000. They are not complete roads, just bits of them adjacent to a GLA Road.


National and local legislation including Lewisham Traffic Management Orders typically refer to GLA Roads and Side Roads, and the speed limit in these is for the GLA to manage…

All other roads, let’s call them Lewisham controlled roads, are enforceable at 20mph but these are not “Side Roads” in the sense of legislation.

Anyway, of far more interest (to me at any rate) is the list of the top 30 Lewisham controlled roads that Lewisham has listed in order of priority as the priority ones for average speed camera enforcement. Not Perry Vale or Perry Rise, both of which are often mentioned on here for speeding vehicles?

List is here:-


Thank you for the information. Let’s see if we can get to the bottom of this once and for all.

Your document defines GLA Roads and GLA Side Roads. It refers to Section 124A Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Basically, a “GLA Side Road” must have a junction with a GLA road or another road which is a GLA road.

The TMO states:

The TMO doesn’t specifically state that it’s talking about GLA Side Roads, but let’s assume it is. There are a huge number of roads included in the list of GLA Side Roads.

The 20mph limit is not borough wide, it is piecemeal. But not a way that makes sense from a safety perspective.

There used to be 20mph limits around schools, and other areas we’d expect to be limited. If I entered such an area, I’d see the 20mph limit and slow down. Now I have no idea when I driving in an area suitable for 30mph, or when I am driving in an area where I should be slowing down and being especially vigilant.

20mph limits used to serve a purpose. Now, with a blanket limit, they have desensitised most drivers to local speed limits altogether.


Average speed cameras won’t work against the boy racers that slam on their accelerator and then slam on their brakes. I’ve seen this happen a lot in roads around Honor Oak.

Speed cameras and signs are a cold dead hand of lazy enforcement. They won’t make roads safer. They will only catch a small subset of dangerous drivers.


I was referring to streets that would have average speed cameras installed. That doesn’t apply to residential streets where there was a 20 limit before the whole borough I thought?