More speedguns to help enforce Brighter Borough’s 20mph speed limit

Published: Monday 22nd October 18

To help local police enforce the borough’s 20mph speed limit in residential areas, the council is purchasing two speedguns which will be used by officers in the Met to ensure drivers keep their speed in check.

The speedguns will be used in areas where residents have expressed concerns about excessive vehicle speeds and also at ‘Community Roadwatch’ initiatives where local residents, neighbourhood watch groups and other community groups work together to encourage drivers to stick to the 20mph limit.

A borough-wide 20 mph speed limit was introduced in Wandsworth just over a year ago.

Cllr Cook joined police at a recent Community Roadwatch exercise

This lower limit applies in all of Wandsworth’s quieter residential backstreets and neighbourhoods and is designed to make local roads safer and also encourage other forms of sustainable transport like cycling and walking.

Accidents involving collisions between pedestrians and vehicles are three times less likely to be fatal if the speed of the impact is 20mph compared to 30mph.

Studies have shown that at 30mph, 55 per cent of collisions result in pedestrian fatalities while at 20mph this figure drops dramatically to just 17 per cent.

As well as being safer and encouraging other healthier modes of transport, slowing vehicle speeds reduces noise levels and helps improve air quality.

The lower limit now applies in all the borough’s quiet side streets but is unchanged on the borough’s busier main roads.

The change was made following a detailed public consultation. In total 59 per cent of residents who took part supported lower speeds in residential streets, while 64 per cent agreed the limit should not be reduced on main roads.

Cllr Cook: We must continue to encourage this good behaviour by carrying out regular enforcement

Research carried out earlier this year also found that four out of five motorists were complying with the 20mph limit.
Police-led speed gun checks on nearly 7,000 vehicles showed that more than 80 per cent were sticking to lower speed limits and helping keep Wandsworth streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers.

During the course of these “Community Roadwatch” events police and residents used speedguns to check how fast 6,945 vehicles were travelling. Of these 5,614 were complying with the new limit.

Transport spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “The evidence suggests that the vast majority of drivers are complying with the lower limit where it applies, which is very encouraging.

“However we cannot be complacent and we must continue to encourage this good behaviour by carrying out regular enforcement.

“This is why we are playing our part by purchasing two additional speedguns. This will mean the police are able to conduct more checks on vehicles and ensure a faster response to complaints from residents concerned about excess speeds in their neighbourhoods.”

Cllr Cook added: “We hope that improving safety levels will encourage people to leave their cars at home and travel instead by bike or on foot.  

“And if we can reduce the number of vehicles on our roads then not only will our streets be quieter and safer but there should also be an improvement in air quality levels too.”

For more information about the new rules visit

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Recent comments

Big brother surveillance with cameras is not required. Signs indicating the speed at which care are travelling are much more helpful. We were not informed that introducing 20 mph limits was going to result in treating local people like criminals. Carrot is better than stick. More resources should be put into dealing with the absolute menace of cyclists on our roads and pavements.
Liz Bryant

30 October 2018

Glad to hear this. I'm also a big fan of the signs that flash "SLOW DOWN" at drivers exceeding the speed limit. It's a shame they're not always working. However, I do wish SOMETHING would be done about cyclists breaking all the road laws. I feel like I'm dodging death every time I try to use a pedestrian crossing. It's also becoming more common for vehicles to drive into the pedestrian crossing and block it, so they can avoid waiting behind a red light. Perhaps the police could stand at the pedestrian crossings and big road junctions more often.

29 October 2018

I attended a speedgun inspection a while ago in my street Rogers Road, many drivers did not respect the allowed limit and continue not respecting the limit, VERY DANGEROUS. Cars and lorries do not slow down even thought there are people like my mother 80 years old and my nephew 10 and niece 16 crossing the street. SPEED BUMP would be be solved .
Joana Lorente

29 October 2018

can you tell me why since that you have put up and painted the roads with the 20mile signs my satnav does not recognise them it still indicates that the limit is 30. the only road where it does on my estate and surrounding area is Bessborough road sw15. i have had the satnav updated. please can i get a reply to my email thanks look forward to your reply
janet cornford

28 October 2018

Nobody does under 20 mph in Replingham Road !
Arthur Towning

27 October 2018

You need to do something about the 20mph section of Bolingbroke Grove. If you did a test you would find that most vehicles exceed 30mph. This is particularly true of tour buses, vans and other commercial vehicles. It might be better to put this limit back to 30mph but put up speed indicators and properly enforce the limit.
Chris Allies

26 October 2018

I saw 2 police guys on Balham park road last week, there for at least 90 mins enforcing the 20mph zone - may I suggest a better use of their time is looking at moped muggings instead of the waste of money scheme

26 October 2018

My issue with having these silly 20mph zones, is that you spend more time looking at your speedo rather than concentrating on driving. Also, Mobile phone use is a much worse distraction than a few extra mph of speed, and distraction is what causes accidents NOT so much speed. It’s a joke that Wandsworth have spent about £1m off tax payers money implementing a 20mph zone.

26 October 2018

Those of us living on Boundaries Road do not recognise the figure of 80% for compliance with the 20mph limit. Unlike many sidestreets, Boundaries Road is long, straight and a through route. And it has no speed bumps. Those drivers inclined to ignore the speed limit take full advantage of it on Boundaries Road. I hope it can be a priority for police speed checks.

26 October 2018

Parkgate Road is a speedway!! The speed limit is a joke as there is no way it can be monitored without installing cameras and Wandsworth won't spend the money to do this. Its becoming a very busy road for pedestrians with welcome new businesses and the traffic speed is endangering lives. Please do something about it and don't fob us off with the "Wandsworth has the lowest council tax excuse" Lives are more of than money!
mary larkin

26 October 2018

I fully support any initiatives to reduce the instances of illegal driving in the Borough, and appreciate WBC's efforts in making our public realm and streets safer for everyone including young children and the elderly. It's unfortunate some self-entitled drivers think the streets are for their sole use, but fortunately the general discourse is slowly shifting to recognising our public streets should be for the benefit of everyone, not just for the convenience of those just driving through other people's neighbourhoods.
Andrew M

26 October 2018

I hate to state the obvious but that still means that nearly !,400 motorists were NOT complying with the speed limit (which I assume was also adjusted upwards to allow a certain leeway). It also does not take account of the fact that these exercises do tend to give motorists plenty of warning to adjust their speed as the police carry them out in full view, wearing high viz jackets !! Last time there was an exercise like this, where I live, I and a group of others was practically sent flying by a speeding vehicle as soon as the police team had left.
Janis Humberstone

26 October 2018

I hope that this limit and fines for exceeding it also applies to Cyclists and other forms of transport such as electric powered personal transport. They are an increasingly dangerous bunch for all users especially pedestrians and themselves
francis le carpentier

26 October 2018

Police time would be better spent going into schools and advising on how to cross the road. This basic knowledge seems to have been lost. The mothers who were quick to sign up to this limit should be reminded crossing the road with an iPhone welded to the ear is not recommended. I am also at a loss to see how the air quality/noise is improved. The over use of humps on the Prince of Wales Drive are testimony to this.
James Sharpe

26 October 2018

Hope they spend some time on Bedford Hill, the drivers on there think they're at Brands Hatch since the speed camera was taken down.

26 October 2018

Why not spend the money on MAKING THE CRIME TO BE FOLKS STEPPING OUT IN THE ROAD WHERE EVER THEY FEEL LIKE STEPPING OUT - even less than a bus length from an official crossing. Reduce the speed limit to 5mph and the idiots will still get injured by stepping in front of cars other than at a crossing.
Liz D

23 October 2018