Lewisham borough wide 20mph speed limit – update


@chrisbeach - 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”


Just another observation. IF Lewisham did enforce the 20MPH across all of it’s A and B roads with fines by using stealth cameras of one sort or another, just about every single driver (including bus drivers) would get fined in the first week or two. Without staring continually at your speedometer it is very difficult not to drift, even momentarily above 20 as it is so slow for a modern car.

(The upside of that is that we’d all have gold plated wheelie bins this time next year as the council try to offload the £20 billion they’d raised in fines.)


A reasonable proportion of modern cars have a speed limiter button which can be useful in areas with low limits.


I’ve driven one ever with a limiter - a loan Fiat 500X which had it. I’ve driven several brand new zipcar VWs this last year and they didn’t (unless it was well hidden.)


Some confusion about the wording above.

20mph zones are what we have outside schools or in some residential roads. Usually small, targeted areas.

Lewisham has a 20mph limit.

Zones have been shown to be very effective at reducing speed and accidents. Limits have not been demonstrated to be as effective.


yes that is because every single road connected to a GLA Road has a bit of GLA Side Road attached to it. here is Devonshire Road for example. The GLA Side Road bit is the few metres marked with red lines. All the rest of that road is Lewisham controlled and subject to the 20mph limit. There’s a big sign written on the road in case of any doubt…


Things I’ve learnt today. Why roads off red routes have red lines.


Interestingly, in the example provided (Devonshire Road), this particular road is not subject to the 20mph limit at all. It is in a 20mph zone and signposted accordingly, along with the traffic calming measures required for a zone. At the other end of the road, where the zone finishes, there are 20mph limit signs to let you know you are now within the 20mph limit, not a zone. Quite confusing really… (although all clearly signed as 20mph something-or-the-other).


Many drivers feel entitled to ignore the 20mph limit because they know they are capable of driving faster. Pretty much every one of us with a licence are comfortable driving at 70mph and every speed below that.

And because we used to be able to drive those roads at 30 - and did so without incident - nothing has really changed in terms of our perceived capabilities. But wider sensibilities have changed…

It took decades for drink driving to become socially unacceptable and seatbelts to become automatic - and there are still quite a few die-hards out there who deny any degradation in competence after a drink. Until the last decade, car ads etc were all about speed and driving fast, it’s no real surprise that it will likely take a generation for driving more slowly to become more normal.

Then again, there was an article earlier today asking whether we’d all end up in driverless cars in the next 15-20 years as it would effectively become cheaper and easier. With fewer young adults (especially in cities) bothering to learn, they might just be right.


The report:

Forest Hill Road speed reduction - Consultation

This all comes to no surprise to me. Without ruthless enforcement any speed limit is pointless and makes barely a difference to peoples’ behaviours . Many drive as fast as they physically can, quite literally, and this even includes buses. Even those who don’t still ignore 20 mph across the board.

Give powers to the councils to undertake the enforcement and keep the fines within their borough, and see what happens then to the average speed and accident statistics.

Also, if near this guy from the AA is saying that the speed limit needs to reflect the nature of the road, this strikes me as a very last century wisdom. Indeed, it is the road that should reflect the nature of the speed limit, so that ideally you shouldn’t even need any signs at all.