Police enforcement of 20mph limits in Islington began last week (7 Oct), making Islington the first borough in London where motorists can be prosecuted for breaking the 20mph limit.
Last year Islington became the first London borough to introduce a 20mph limit on all roads, except for those managed by Transport for London.
Since then, the council and police have held a series of ‘stop and advise’ operations in which motorists driving above the 20mph limit have been pulled over and given a reminder to slow down. Now, after 24 such operations, enforcement has begun.
Councillor Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “We want Islington’s roads to be safer for everyone, and that’s why we pioneered making Islington London’s first 20mph borough. Most motorists obey the speed limits, but those who don’t can now expect to be prosecuted and risk losing their licence.
“We’ve worked closely with the police over the past 12 months to target hot-spots where drivers frequently speed, and together we’ve stopped more than 900 motorists to remind them to keep within the limit.
“The time is now right to start enforcement action and I welcome the action by police.”
A report in the London Evening Standard said the move has been given a “mixed reception” by residents, most of whom called for a “common sense” approach with restrictions only imposed during daytime hours when traffic is heavier.
Talking to the Evening Standard, taxi driver Gary Ricketts said: “I think the speed limit should be 20mph only during the day and then at night it should go back to 30mph because at night driving down a main road at 20mph with no one around is a bit of pain. It’s actually hard to drive that slow, people will get annoyed and my customers will start moaning.”
Another resident, architect Alastair Gambles said: “I cycle through here every day and from a cyclists’ point of view it will make the roads safer, although the speed bumps are so severe anyway people can’t go fast.”
Statistician Phil Giles added: “Residential streets where kids are out playing should be maximum 20mph, even less, but on the busier roads 20mph will be way too low. If it’s really busy you can’t go faster than that anyway, but if the road is empty and you’re going along at 20mph it’s a waste of time. They should trust us to have common sense.”