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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not specific to EVs but a general legal question: We have just had a 20mph limit put in our town centre. I think it's a great idea as the pavements are often narrow or only on one side of the road. The new limit will make things a lot safer for old people and schoolchildren. However, the local council have only put temporary speed limit signs, like sandwich boards, around the town until the permanent signs can be installed. Someone has gone around and moved them or turned them so they can't be seen. An angry speed merchant I guess. My question is whether interfering with a speed limit sign is any kind of offence?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Most likely criminal damage but if the signs are not clear they can't enforce the speed limit so they should have waited for proper signs can't be that hard to get hold of
I don't think there is any question of enforcement even after the proper signs are installed. I just think it's unfair to conscientious drivers, who want to obey the limits, for someone to hide the signs. Also dangerous for pedestrians who have heard about the new limit and will be expecting traffic to be slower.
 

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I don't think there is any question of enforcement even after the proper signs are installed.
I don't know if it helps to recount our local experience: my town has had a 20MPH limit throughout the centre for almost 20 years. It is almost universally ignored, and other than a couple of times during the first few months, I have never seen it enforced.

If I drive at 20MPH in any of the part of town that doesn't have speed bumps, I can be pretty sure I'll have a tailgater attached within seconds. Even PSV drivers will tailgate you if you're doing 20 MPH.

Fortunately I've noticed no major difference in pedestrian behaviour - they don't seem to expect the traffic to be slower, despite the lower signed limit.
 

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I don't know if it helps to recount our local experience: my town has had a 20MPH limit throughout the centre for almost 20 years. It is almost universally ignored, and other than a couple of times during the first few months, I have never seen it enforced.

If I drive at 20MPH in any of the part of town that doesn't have speed bumps, I can be pretty sure I'll have a tailgater attached within seconds. Even PSV drivers will tailgate you if you're doing 20 MPH.

Fortunately I've noticed no major difference in pedestrian behaviour - they don't seem to expect the traffic to be slower, despite the lower signed limit.
generally does feel to me like people do max 30 in a 20 though, whereas they might have done 40 in the 30 before. Net result is slower traffic which I think could be seen as a success.
 

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I don't know if it helps to recount our local experience: my town has had a 20MPH limit throughout the centre for almost 20 years. It is almost universally ignored, and other than a couple of times during the first few months, I have never seen it enforced.

If I drive at 20MPH in any of the part of town that doesn't have speed bumps, I can be pretty sure I'll have a tailgater attached within seconds. Even PSV drivers will tailgate you if you're doing 20 MPH.

Fortunately I've noticed no major difference in pedestrian behaviour - they don't seem to expect the traffic to be slower, despite the lower signed limit.
We've got loads of 20mph limits appearing, Oxfordshire Council sell them by claiming they are safer which is true and reduces emissions which I doubt in fact it probably causes more as people are driving round in lower gears, they have just added a new 20mph limit along a stretch of road along a country lane by 3 or 4 houses, the speed limit for the rest of the lane is 60mph so they haven't got a hope in hell of enforcing it unless they put a speed camera up.

Im sure Oxfordshire Council know that people are going to ignore the new limits but use the lack of compliance to justify further reductions, 10mph limits can't be far away.
 

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generally does feel to me like people do max 30 in a 20 though, whereas they might have done 40 in the 30 before. Net result is slower traffic which I think could be seen as a success.
Agreed, it must have some effect, but I wouldn't be surprised if the average reduction is only 1 or 2 MPH. No doubt it varies depending on the layout/width/etc of the road - in some ways we are lucky in that the roads are narrow in our town and you would have to be pretty stupid to be doing 40.

But... if I had a choice, I think I would prefer a 30MPH limit that is enforced than a 20MPH limit that isn't.
 

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I don't think there is any question of enforcement even after the proper signs are installed. I just think it's unfair to conscientious drivers, who want to obey the limits, for someone to hide the signs. Also dangerous for pedestrians who have heard about the new limit and will be expecting traffic to be slower.
If you know it is a 20mph then you'd be guilty of speeding even if there are no signs.

Speed limits are created by TROs, not by traffic signs. Speeding is not a traffic sign offence.

'No traffic signs' is a good defence, maybe a totally acceptable defence, but one still commits a speeding offence even if there are no signs.

Yes, there are offences committed under the Highways Act 1980, in addition to the one just mentioned, but if those traffic signs are wrong (e.g. if there is not a TRO for that speed limit) then instead the person removing them has the right to do so.

Are you sure there is a TRO mandating the speed limit, or were they put there by an over-enthusiastic Council person?
 

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Some councils don’t go down the TRO route but put up advisory signs to try and improve safety . These are not enforsable in law but are meant to reduce risk.

in some months when toads are crossing a road speed signs are put out but of a slightly different size.

in national speed limit roads where dear have open access you often see advisory slightly smaller 50 MPH signs to advise road users but they are not legally enforsable.

when a TRO is in place at 20 MPH it applies to all road users but the police in UK do not have equipment to verify cyclists and electric scooters speeds so can’t do anything.
 

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when a TRO is in place at 20 MPH it applies to all road users but the police in UK do not have equipment to verify cyclists and electric scooters speeds so can’t do anything.
If you look here, Highway Code: Speed Limits, you'll see no reference to cycles which is because the various limits do not apply to them. This is, I think, for a combination of reasons including that cycles do not carry speedometers by law and do not represent as big a hazard as a car. As far as speed measuring goes, I can confirm that I do trigger acceptably accurate readings from speed measuring signs as I cycle past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some councils don’t go down the TRO route but put up advisory signs to try and improve safety . These are not enforsable in law but are meant to reduce risk.

in some months when toads are crossing a road speed signs are put out but of a slightly different size.

in national speed limit roads where dear have open access you often see advisory slightly smaller 50 MPH signs to advise road users but they are not legally enforsable.

when a TRO is in place at 20 MPH it applies to all road users but the police in UK do not have equipment to verify cyclists and electric scooters speeds so can’t do anything.
Yes, there is definitely a TRO in place. As I said, the temporary signs were only put in place until the permanent signs are installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We've got loads


We've got loads of 20mph limits appearing, Oxfordshire Council sell them by claiming they are safer which is true and reduces emissions which I doubt in fact it probably causes more as people are driving round in lower gears, they have just added a new 20mph limit along a stretch of road along a country lane by 3 or 4 houses, the speed limit for the rest of the lane is 60mph so they haven't got a hope in hell of enforcing it unless they put a speed camera up.

Im sure Oxfordshire Council know that people are going to ignore the new limits but use the lack of compliance to justify further reductions, 10mph limits can't be far away.
Interesting question about emissions. Our town is small with a medieval street layout - lots of short streets and road junctions. You can't drive for more than a couple of minutes without having to stop and turn. I would expect ICE vehicles to output most emissions when accelerating or braking. A 20mph limit would mean cars spend less time accelerating and braking and more time at a constant speed, thus I would expect a lower speed limit to cut emissions. I sincerely hope so because we have had an Air Quality Management Area here for many years and pollution is a real problem. As an EV driver, of course, I am quite happy to cruise around at 20mph with no gears involved!
 

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I don't know if it helps to recount our local experience: my town has had a 20MPH limit throughout the centre for almost 20 years. It is almost universally ignored, and other than a couple of times during the first few months, I have never seen it enforced.

If I drive at 20MPH in any of the part of town that doesn't have speed bumps, I can be pretty sure I'll have a tailgater attached within seconds. Even PSV drivers will tailgate you if you're doing 20 MPH.

Fortunately I've noticed no major difference in pedestrian behaviour - they don't seem to expect the traffic to be slower, despite the lower signed limit.
Interesting, we have a blanket 20 mph limit in our local area and TBH virtually everyone (who is local) sticks to no more than 25 mph, which is better than it being 30 mph and sticking to just over that! Some of our lanes are so narrow that 15 mph is a natural limit or face a fight with a Cornish Hedge (granite wall :ROFLMAO: ).
 

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I'm glad to live in a 20mph zone. To be honest, anyone driving faster than that is going to crash soon anyway. The roads are narrow, there's often parked cars on both sides of the road and you'd have to stop for oncoming traffic, there's no pavement for pedestrians in parts.
Bizarrely, the main high street, which is the official through route, is a 30 mph zone, but is even narrower and windier, so most through traffic goes through the 20 mph streets instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm glad to live in a 20mph zone. To be honest, anyone driving faster than that is going to crash soon anyway. The roads are narrow, there's often parked cars on both sides of the road and you'd have to stop for oncoming traffic, there's no pavement for pedestrians in parts.
Bizarrely, the main high street, which is the official through route, is a 30 mph zone, but is even narrower and windier, so most through traffic goes through the 20 mph streets instead.
A lot of what you say is true for my town too but there are a few places where there are relatively straight roads where cars and commercial vehicles drive at up to 40mph next to very narrow pavements. It is truly scary to walk along there and you can really feel the backdraft pulling you into the road when a large lorry thunders past. We are constantly told that the government wants more people to walk and cycle but it is an extremely unpleasant experience when drivers are so inconsiderate.
 

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In the “villagey” area of Guildford where I live I have a self-imposed 20mph limit, and I think a lot of other residents do the same. Generally I’m in favour of them provided we’re really talking about the last couple of miles of a journey. I’ve mentioned previously the one in Morden where they’ve imposed a blanket limit across all non-tfl roads, and a dual carriageway has gone from 40mph to 20, which is dangerous if you try to stick to it.
 

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After years of neglect the roads in Oxfordshire are so bad its virtually impossible to drive faster than 20mph, most people have now taken to driving like drunken sailors as they weave down the road trying desperately to avoid the worst of the potholes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
After years of neglect the roads in Oxfordshire are so bad its virtually impossible to drive faster than 20mph, most people have now taken to driving like drunken sailors as they weave down the road trying desperately to avoid the worst of the potholes.
Potholes = cheap road-calming measures. Probably explains why the council takes ages to fix them!
 
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