Why 20mph isn’t going to work in Blackfriars, or anywhere else for that matter …

Why 20mph isn’t going to work in Blackfriars, or anywhere else for that matter …
Why isn’t TfL keen on 20mph zones at Blackfriars? Last night I attended my local Police Liaison Group  and earlier in the week, I went to the council’s Cycling Liaison Group.

20mph zones came up at both of them, but it was only the Sergeant at the Police Liaison Group who turned up with the key nugget of information: the Police can’t enforce 20mph zones, so they either need to be self-enforcing (i.e. nice signs, and trusting road users to do the right thing), or they need sufficient traffic calming to effectively make more than 20mph unpleasant for drivers.

With TfL’s near messianic obsession with traffic calming, and the clear evidence from Blackfriars that they want traffic (which doesn’t really seem to massively include pedestrians or cyclists) to move smoothly and quickly through the junction, you’d think they wouldn’t bother looking for excuses to thumb their noses at a group who can be majority users on the bridge. But if it’s true that the Police can’t legally enforce a 20mph zone, then it’s certainly possible to see the argument that it’ hard to design for it.

Apparently the issue is not to do with the equipment available, but the specific speed: the Police are apparently only able to enforce a 30mph limit, and can’t even use rules like dangerous driving / reckless driving in 20mph zones, unless that is evidently present (i.e. driving at 30mph in a 20mph zone is not a prima facie piece of ‘reckless driving’, for example).

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3 Responses to Why 20mph isn’t going to work in Blackfriars, or anywhere else for that matter …

  1. Pingback: It’s easier to park you car then to ask someone to slow down | peoplesfrontofrichmond

  2. the police statement is bollocks. It’s “We don’t want to enforce it” -if the council says they should, they will. In Bristol we pushed hard for 20mph on main roads too, as the alternative, 20 mph backroad and 30 mph main roads is what portsmouth had, and it sucked. The main roads were the same as ever, and cars turning off them would be doing 30, as would vehicles approaching it.

    Now that there are 20 zones, some of the main roads show no difference, but that requires some more pressure to get enforcement up and running. There is a lot of support for completing the ring round the inner city. What it has done is reduced some of the rat running, though narrow roads help there
    http://bristolcars.blogspot.com/2011/10/une-discourse-dans-le-village-du.html

    That said, our dataset on speeding there shows that it is locals
    http://bristolcars.blogspot.com/2011/03/where-are-20-mph-zones-they-promised.html
    or mad people who want to do 30mph on the pavement
    http://bristolcars.blogspot.com/2011/09/nc53bov-try-your-best.html

    full set
    http://bristolcars.blogspot.com/search/label/20mph

  3. Paul says:

    Not enforcing 20mph limits seems to be a Metropolitan Police policy rather than any legal problem. See:
    http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Home/Police-promise-crackdown-on-speeders-ignoring-20mph-limits-29082011.htm

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