20mph zones enforced in Oxford

Speed restrictions on a pilot scheme in the city

by Sarah Barth   August 8, 2012  

20mph zone picture IAM.jpg

Speed restricted 20mph zones are being enforced in Oxford as part of a pilot scheme in some areas.

Following consultation with local residents and campaign groups, police are beginning to enforce the lower limit in built-up areas.

Supt Chris Brown, Head of Roads Policing, said: “Our priority has always been and continues to be the safety of the public. We have begun enforcing the 20mph speed restrictions in response to feedback from local communities about specific road safety issues in specific areas.

“This is an opportunity to see the results of proportionate, targeted enforcement in areas where there are concerns around 20mph limits.

“We do hope however that the 20mph speed restriction will continue to be largely self-enforcing by use of signage and road engineering.

“It is anticipated that the majority of infringements will be minor – straying just over the 20mph limit. These will be dealt with by roadside cautions and advice. More serious speeding offences will be prosecuted.”

The campaign group 20's Plenty, which lobbies for a lower speed limit as the default in residential areas, say that lowering urban and residential speed limits to 20 mph has been found to increase a urban journeys by just 40 seconds maximum, on average.

But with that, they say, comes a decrease in child pedestrian accidents by up to 70%.

Portsmouth, Newcastle already sport 20mph zones on most neighbourhood streets, and Leicester, Oxford, Hull, Bristol, Warrington and Islington are some of the places where council officials are using the recent DfT guidelines changes to introduce 20 mph limits on residential streets.

8 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

It's amazing to me that actually enforcing a speed limit is seen as some sort of special policing effort now. How the hell did we get into this position? This is very nice news, but seen in a slightly wider context it just makes one despair.

posted by steff [81 posts]
8th August 2012 - 11:26

1 Like

Eh? Portsmouth are not now introducing 2o limits following recent DfT giudance changes, they implemented 20 on all residential streets throughout the city some years ago, under the previous DfT guidance.

posted by Paul M [342 posts]
8th August 2012 - 13:52

1 Like

Good point Paul, have edited for clarity Smile

Sarah Barth's picture

posted by Sarah Barth [1238 posts]
8th August 2012 - 14:37


Talking to people at the Olympic road events who described themselves a political cyclist (not from any of the above mentioned areas) I was surprised to see how little grasp some campaigners appear have over the 20 mph facts and figures enforcement issues, the level confusion over presumption of liability and guilt. Through in the helmet issue and suddenly the original (20 mph limits in residential areas) proposition was lost.

Yet the simple fact is that a 20 mph limit would make a higher contribution to road safety than any other single measure at far less a cost. The campaigners do not have to convince my I'm already a convert, they do have to convince politicians that takes knowledge and media savvy.


posted by lushmiester [161 posts]
8th August 2012 - 17:54


Oh no, I'll have to slow down round Oxford .... just done my usual lumpy loop at av of 21.6mph!! Wink

posted by veseunr [287 posts]
8th August 2012 - 21:42

1 Like

Oxford looks quite like Richmond park in that picture.

posted by mrkeith119 [88 posts]
10th August 2012 - 3:33

1 Like

In 20mph limits come in, anyone think that will mean new legislation to require all bikes to be fitted with a computer, since it's far more common for cyclists to exceed 20 than it is for them to exceed 30?

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3705 posts]
10th August 2012 - 9:27

1 Like

Mmmmm...will be interesting to see how many cyclists flout the 20 mph speed limit, and what action the bizzies take as a result.

It's more "do-able" on a bike than the 30 mph.

We can't have it both ways. If the speed limit is 20mph, it applies to all of us.

posted by Littlesox [89 posts]
11th December 2012 - 23:25