20 mph madness



I have just got a letter in the post from Southwark council, my London borough. They want to institute a 20 mph limit near where I live (Salter Road, SE16), enforced by average speed cameras. It is a busy residential road with a bad accident record etc, etc. Except it is nothing of the sort.

Salter Rd was built in the 1980s as a spine road for the new Surrey Quays development. It has almost no houses on it. As per most modern developments, the houses are all built on side roads and face away from the main road.

So according to Southwark, I have to drive for one mile at 20mph on one of London's quietest non-residential roads to get to my house. They say there have been accidents along it, which is quite true.Over the years, joyriders, knowing it is the emptiest and most modern road for miles around have occasionally crashed cars on Salter Rd. And how are average speed cameras going to stop that problem? They are not of course.

Lots of fines will be collected from law-abiding motorists absent-mindedly driving at 25 mph on a perfectly safe road, while joyriders will carry on exactly as before. Chasing criminals is too much like hard work: it's so much easier to criminalise the law abiding.
Photo note: taken at 8.55 am this morning – this is rush hour on Salter Rd.
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