IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

What’s the use of 20mph limit if it’s not enforced?

05 October, 2018

• THE recent case of an ex-footballer admitting speeding at 59mph in a 40mph zone and getting away with it on a technicality highlights the uselessness of speed limits.

He should have done the honourable thing and taken the punishment for his self-confessed crime; it would have been cheaper but the points would have perhaps overloaded his licence.

At it is, Rumpole got richer and the culprit got off. This, from someone in the public eye, is no example to his family, his fans or other speeding gung-ho drivers.

Here in Islington, there was a huge fanfare when the 20mph limit was introduced in 2013. Signs went up; we were the first London borough to implement such a limit. All good. Bravo! Except for the fact that the limit isn’t enforced – was it ever?

Speed-watch activities in Liverpool Road earlier this year caught many cars, motorbikes, lorries and vans travelling at 25mph-plus, and therefore exceeding the limit, including some of the council’s own vehicles.

A recent Freedom of Information request to the council regarding the total number of fines and total amount in penalties collected from drivers exceeding the 20mph limit in Islington in the past four years resulted in: “Information not held, ask the Metropolitan Police.” The subsequent FoI request to the Met is, at the time of writing, still under review.

We already know that police community support officers aren’t given the powers to issue penalties. So who monitors speeding in Islington? Doesn’t the council want to track how its speed limit is working?

It might as well have saved the money spent on banners shouting about being a 20mph borough and stopped the farce of pretending it actually wants to make a difference for its many vulnerable road users. No proper enforcement equals no speed limit.

EILIDH MURRAY
N1

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