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.

So it looks like they’re going to be more draconian with enforcement, and ensure all drivers slow to a crawl:

Let’s see what happens next…

Related topics:

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0.5 mph for over £1 million. Bargain.

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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.

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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.

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Great idea. Bring them on everywhere.


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


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

@anon5422159 - in a 20mph zone, you should be driving at, or less than 20mph. I know that you know that Lewisham is a 20mph borough. You have no excuse. Other drivers might not know that Lewisham is a 20mph zone, but there’s enough signage, and road markings to make it obvious - they also have no excuse.

in terms of GLA road (Transport For London Red Route/Road Network - TLRN) - they manage and maintain the red routes, and also the ‘red route related infrastructure’ on side roads - so this would only be signs, and road markings specifically related to the red route. So for instance a red route parking sign that has fallen over, 5m into a side road would be TfL responsibility to fix, whereas a pothole in the carriageway, 5m into a red route side road, would be, in this case, Lewisham Highways responsibility to fix.

whatever you might think, enforceable, or not, the TMO for 20mph across Lewisham will have been checked and double checked to ensure that it is legally accurate, and enforceable, and as I’ve said previously, if you have an accident and knock down a pedestrian, on a borough road/residential side road, and it’s proved that you were travelling more than 20mph (but less than 30), then trying to use the excuse that it’s perfectly ok as the TMO is not enforceable, will definitely not go in your favour.

There might be many things wrong with a blanket 20mph zone, it might encourage dangerous overtaking by other idiots, it might increase pollution due to vehicles being less efficient at lower speeds, and revving and braking harder, but it’s still a legal speed limit that should be adhered to like any other.

obviously it is “GLA roads and (GLA) side roads” rather than “GLA roads, and (other non GLA) side roads”