Motorists face fines of £130 for driving over new 20mph speed limits

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Wandsworth Council is launching a pilot initiative in which drivers breaking the speed limit could be issued fines by the council instead of the police. Once in force, motorists will be penalised if they exceed the 20mph limit on two busy residential roads in the borough.

The two streets – Wimbledon Park Road and Priory Lane – are both the subjects of numerous complaints from local people about excessive vehicle speeds.

The new power, lasting for up to eight months, will see the council receiving the £130 fine instead of it going into a central Government pot.

If deemed a success, the scheme could be rolled out across London, where around half of the streets have a 20mph limit.  

The hefty fines will receive a 50 percent discount if the offending driver pays the charge within 14 days.

Under the council scheme, however, offenders will not receive penalty points on their licence.

Money received from fines will be “ringfenced” and ploughed back into road safety initiatives in the borough.

The Wandsworth pilot is designed to support and not replace Met Police enforcement of excessive traffic speeds in the borough.

Councillor Simon Hogg, lead of Wandsworth Council, said speeding is one of the biggest sources of complaints from residents.

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He added: “Ensuring drivers stick to the 20mph limit not only improves safety levels and encourages more people to walk or cycle, it helps reduce harmful emissions too.

“Until now, only the Metropolitan Police have had powers to enforce speed limits, but they tend to concentrate their resources on main roads and dual carriageways, whereas most of the complaints we receive are about people driving too fast along quieter residential streets.

“Our pilot scheme will focus on two residential roads where excessive speeds are known to be an issue.

“If judged a success, we will look to make it permanent and carry out enforcement in other parts of the borough where we know vehicle speeds are excessive.”

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The scheme has been approved by London Councils – the umbrella group representing all 32 town halls in the capital. 

If the Wandsworth pilot is judged a success other councils in London and elsewhere are likely to follow suit.

However, the plans have not been praised by all, with motorists fearing they will be targeted by unfair fines.

A spokesperson for the AA said: “Speeding should not be treated like a parking ticket. 

“And speeding enforcement should not become ‘fishing trips’ to secure money for councils.”

By March next year, a further 17 miles of roads in Camden, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Tower Hamlets will have the same 20mph speed limit, Transport for London announced.

All roads within London’s congestion charge zone have a limit of 20mph, with it seen as the ‘default’ maximum in most of the 33 boroughs. 

Wales is planning to introduce new driving laws which would slash default speed limits from 30mph to 20mnoh on restricted roads.

These are usually located in residential and built-up areas with high pedestrian activity and include street lights placed no more than 200 yards apart.

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