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Drivers living life in the slow lane have shared their misery after 20mph speed limits were imposed by their local councils – as Rishi Sunak vows to end the war on motorists.

From Yorkshire and London to Wales, where a nationwide 20mph standard speed limit was imposed last month, hard-working drivers are contending with laws that force them to crawl from A to B.

Critics have told MailOnline that the restriction is ‘stupid’, and claim the speed reductions have clogged roads with gridlock and doubled commuting times, and that some drivers are simply ignoring the law to tear along streets at 50mph.

Others have questioned how the limit will be enforced – as drivers seeking a faster way to their destination turn side-streets into ‘rat-runs’, potentially increasing the risk of accidents.

This week, the Prime Minister is expected to detail how he will push back against restrictions on drivers, including a curb on councils imposing low traffic neighbourhoods and blanket 20mph speed limits. 

Are YOU living in a 20mph speed limit zone? Email jon.brady@mailonline.co.uk 

ELTHAM: Cab driver Matthew Eze, 40, has challenged Transport for London officials to ‘walk in our shoes’ after they imposed a 20mph speed limit in Eltham

WALES: Wayne Brooks, organiser of the go-slow protest in Wales that took place at the weekend

SHADWELL: A 20mph speed limit has been introduced across Shadwell, near Leeds – but signage for the old 30mph speed limit is still in place

ELTHAM: The main road in Eltham, south-east London, has been slapped with a reduced 20mph speed limit. Officials point to evidence that lower limits could reduce accidents by 25 per cent

WALES: Drivers staged a 40mph ‘go slow’ protest on the M4 at the weekend after the Labour-led Welsh government introduced a nationwide 20mph limit last month

In a village near Leeds, residents have fumed at a village-wide 20mph speed limit;  while in Wales, drivers staged a go-slow on roads across the country at the weekend.

In Eltham, south-east London, residents say the new 20mph zones have created gridlock, branding Mayor of London Sadiq Khan an ‘idiot’ for imposing them.

Transport for London has cut the limit on Well Hall Road between Well Hall Roundabout and Shooters Hill in what it says is an attempt to reduce incidents, citing a 25 per cent accident reduction rate in areas with reduced limits.

The stretch of road is where black student Stephen Lawrence, 18, was murdered in April 1993. There is a memorial to the youngster at the spot where he died.

But residents are furious at ‘out-of-touch’ decision-makers for the traffic which has resulted from the new restrictions.

Long-time inhabitant Dot, who has lived in south-east London for 40 years, said: ‘I think Sadiq Khan is an idiot.

‘He doesn’t drive obviously – even if he says he goes on buses. We’re the ones that get caught up where we can’t even get in our drives.

‘The traffic was really bad here anyway, because its a shortcut to the High Street. It took us 40 years to get the speed bumps put in and then this happens.

‘But there’s no point in complaining to the council because they just don’t pay any attention.’

Sofia Natocijeva, 27, visits Eltham frequently as she prepares to get married next week – and says the new limits are hampering her last minute preparations.

The bride-to-be said: ‘It takes a lot longer to get around. My journey to get my wedding nails done in Eltham should have taken 25 minutes but took over 40.

‘When there’s no cars in front of them, motorists just speed up above the limit anyway.

‘I just don’t think we have enough space to slow down traffic like this.’

People who live on nearby Dobell Road say the changes have impacted their lives too – as motorists use their residential road as a short-cut.

Lorraine Cross says her road has now become a ‘rat-run’ for drivers trying to get around the new zones, saying of motorists: ‘They get aggressive as well. People get angry having to slow down to other motorists get through.’

Matthew Eze, 40, has been a cab driver in the south London borough for nine years, and claimed decision-makers did not know of the impact of their choices.

The professional driver said: ‘They need to come down and try and drive on these roads. They should try and walk in our shoes.

‘I don’t know what the accident rates are but the difference is not going to be that much now that it’s gone down to 20mph. 

‘Everything in my life is affected. Not just my business. Nobody passes through the High Street any more because the cars have to slow down – traffic around this area is jam-packed.

‘They just have to review it: to get people out there on the road, to check for themselves what the impact is.’

ELTHAM: Sofia Natocijeva says the 20mph speed limit in Eltham has almost doubled her journey times across town – and that most drivers ignore the limit when the road is empty

ELTHAM: Transport for London has cut the limit on Well Hall Road in Eltham – which is home to a memorial plaque for murdered teen Stephen Lawrence

ELTHAM: Buses on Well Hall Road in Eltham, London. Residents say the lower speed limit is only creating gridlock and inconveniencing drivers

Teaching assistant Stephanie Dunne, 23, lives in Eltham with her son and says the new limits has doubled the time of her commute.

The young mum said: ‘My journey to work used to take 10 minutes and now it takes 25.

‘I just don’t feel that it’s necessary, because it’s making more traffic so they’re saying about the it’s better for the environment, but actually, it’s worse.

List of 20mph highway authorities in the UK

Here is a list from 20’s Plenty For Us of what it described as ’20mph highway authorities’ across the UK:

County councils


Unitary authorities

Bath and North East Somerset
Brighton and Hove
Bristol, City of
Cheshire West and Chester
East Riding of Yorkshire
Herefordshire, County of
Kingston upon Hull, City of

Metropolitan districts

South Tyneside
St Helens

London boroughs

City of London
Hammersmith & Fulham
Kensington & Chelsea
Tower Hamlets
Waltham Forest

Scottish authorities

Scottish Borders
West Dunbartonshire



‘It’s a total waste of money. The traffic is more built up now that it is 20mph, whereas when it was 30mph it went a lot more smoothly.’

Another local, 21-year-old Chandler said a 20-minute journey on his door-to-door job now takes well over 30 minutes because of the changes.

His message for TfL decision makers was simply: ‘Sort it out’.

Stacey, who works for local cab firm Mayday Cars, said drivers are incensed by the changes.

She opined: ‘From what I’ve heard, the new limits have no merit. The drivers are not happy.’

Ahmed Yucetan, an Eltham resident since 1977, added: ‘It looks like a complete waste of money. I’ve seen no evidence of it working as it is still very noisy because people don’t slow down.

‘The fact that it turns from 30mph to 20mph means that when you have small children in the house, they can’t tell how fast the car is going to be going when they cross the road.

‘It really hampers my ability to get around town. If it was being enforced properly it might be a good idea but it isn’t. Drivers are going down the road going 30mph – maybe more.’

In Shadwell, near Leeds, locals have been divided by a new limit imposed by Leeds City Council – with wide support for a reduction outside the local school, but a division on introducing it elsewhere, including in the village’s Main Street.

It is feared that forcing drivers to crawl across the whole village at 20mph will lead to most motorists ignoring the signs totally and putting their foot down. 

Local pensioner Michael Hebden, 81, a retired technical manager for a chemical company, said: ‘I think it’s stupid. How are they going to enforce it?

‘They did not even respect the 30mph limit which was here before. So how they will adhere to 20mph I do not know. They already zoom around all over the place.’

Former local teacher Anne Sweet, 86, out for a walk with husband John, 88, agreed with restrictions outside the school but was concerned at 20mph becoming the norm.

‘We need it outside the school because some people drive by it as if they are on the track at Silverstone,’ she added.

‘But I don’t think it should be right the way through the village because it would be difficult to monitor and people would break it all the time.

‘Some of the cars go along here at 50mph. Someone shook their fist at me the other day when I was turning into my drive. 

‘They shouted ‘What do you think you are doing?’. So I told them I was going home.’

Local resident and motorist Robert Dyson, 78, added: ‘We already have traffic calming speed bumps and they were introduced because of one or two people making the local council’s life a misery.

‘It makes travel very uncomfortable on buses. The interesting thing about Shadwell is I used to be on the parish council and we were not aware of any actual accidents.

‘I suppose you could argue if there were not any cars at all you would not have any accidents. It may have bends but it is a historic road.

‘When it first came before the parish council we were against the 20mph limit except around the school. Gradually, the view changed.

‘But Main Street is a wide open road and it is a bit irritating when you see people driving along it at 10mph.’

Outside the school, however, support is unanimous for protecting children, with existing speed bumps apparently failing to deter speeding motorists. 

Megan Rice, 34, a cardiac physiologist, who grew up in the village and moved back five years ago, said: ‘Back in the 90s before the speed bumps a child was injured crossing the road to school. He was not seriously hurt but then they put the speed bumps in.

‘We have had speed bumps outside the school for 20 years but people still speed down here. There are a lot of elderly people here too – and a lot of blind bends.

‘You would be surprised how fast people drive around here. On the estate where there are no speed bumps – they speed up.

‘The roads are tight and narrow so 20mph seems sensible. People who live here stick to the rules. But we are used as a rat run in rush hour and you see a lot of speeding then.’ 

SHADWELL: Residents are supportive of a 20mph speed limit outside the local school, where children have been injured on the roads – but are less keen on the restriction elsewhere

SHADWELL: Locals in the village, near Leeds, say some drivers go ‘flying around the corners’, adding that 20mph ‘does not feel slow’ in Shadwell’s narrow streets

SHADWELL: But locals are fuming at the restriction on Shadwell’s Main Street, which is wider and straighter than most roads in the village

SHADWELL: A bin with a 20mph speed limit sticker. Leeds City Council is introducing 20mph measures in areas where schoolchildren and pedestrians are most likely to be

Speaking outside the school, Jack Cook, 53, said: ‘We are all for it. My grandparents lived here in the late 1950s.

‘Back then cars went slow and there was not that much traffic around. Now people do not respect the speed limits.

‘This is a tiny little road. They go flying around the corners. Twenty miles an hour down here does not feel slow. It is absolutely perfect for this village.

‘There should not be a single objection to 20 in this village because of the nature of the place. I can understand why on big wide straight roads it is just too slow.

‘But in this village it is totally appropriate. Cars are bigger now as well but they are not safer. Parents park outside the church in school time on a blind bend.’

Cradling their three month old grandson Finley, partner Sonia Evans, 51, agreed: ‘The thing is we have the school here. There are already parking issues and parents driving too fast when they are late.

‘So actually I think it is a really good idea to have it. I cannot understand why anyone would protests. They are small windy rounds and it feels right to drive at 20mph.’

Older members of the community, who have been waiting for years for measures to slow traffic down, are furious it has taken so long – and that the rollout has been handled so badly.

Jill Haddock, who has lived in the village 44 years, said: ‘They have painted 20mph on the road next to a 30mph post. So it is still not enforceable and they have supposed to have been getting on with this for the last 17 years.

‘We have got the narrowest, windiest footpaths in North Leeds. We have a bus route and no crossing to the school.

‘Shadwell is a cut through. I have seen people doing 60mph through the village and it is just not safe for children in the village.

‘Twenty slows people down and it is quite dangerous around the village. They finally took the decision three years ago. Every other suburb is 20mph so why have we missed out?’

On her way out from church, Shima Amini, 42, with her six year old daughter Isla, said: ‘I think 20mph is a good idea. My daughter goes to the school so I am a parent. So to me it makes sense, especially when I am doing the school run.’

The local Ash Hill residential area has no speed bumps – and locals say drivers pick up speed through the district.

WALES: Protesters gathered ahead of a ‘go-slow’ convoy across major roads in Wales at the weekend, two weeks after a blanket default 20mph speed limit was introduced in the country

WALES: Tailbacks on the A55 on Saturday, believed to have been caused by the go-slow protest against Wales’ 20mph blanket speed limit

WALES: Angela Landry – pictured driving in the go-slow protest – is not convinced the lower speed limit will reduce accident rates in Wales

WALES: Locals have called for Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford and deputy climate change minister Lee Waters to quit after imposing the lower limit

Mum Noreen McKenzie, a resident for ten years, has a ‘I love 20mph’ sticker on her bin but says the new speed limit has made no difference – and she often forgets it is there.

She said: ‘The sticker is something they just got from the school. One of the kids brought it home. But it does not make any difference on this road.

‘They still whiz up the road and there is so much parking congestion around here you cannot see. The boy stuck it on our bin but quite a lot of the roads here are still quite dangerous to cross.

‘You know who does not live here usually from the way they speed over the bumps in the other part of the village.’

The village is included in a package of new restrictions across the Leeds City Council area, which will mainly operate around village centres and main streets where pedestrians and schoolchildren are most likely to be.

Proposals to cut the limits were first mooted in 2019, but are only now just becoming a reality, after a lot of objections to the original scheme.

Tory councillor Matthew Robinson said: ‘It’s about making sure those village centres, where there are lots of shops and kids are walking to schools, are safer.

‘Some of the residents have been really anxious to get the new zones in.

‘There have been some delays during the consultation so that we can make sure they’re workable across all the villages, which hasn’t always been easy. Across the process now we’ve had more people in favour than against.’

In Wales, drivers took over entire lanes of motorway to carry out an organised ‘go-slow’ protest after the Welsh government introduced a nationwide default speed limit of 20mph.

Protest organiser Wayne Brooks said it was ‘fantastic’ to see dozens of motorists taking part, telling NorthWalesLive: ‘Once we got on the road I looked in the rear mirror and was blown away by how many people had come from nowhere making mile-long queues.

‘I don’t think it will make much of a difference in the Senedd but it certainly sent a message out there that the people of Wales won’t stand for this.’

Protestor Jeff Tree, from Penarth, told WalesOnline the Labour-led administration was ‘punishing people for going about their daily lives’.

Angela Landry, from Caerphilly, said: ‘There’s an ulterior motive, an agenda to put ULEZ in every city in Wales… I don’t think Cardiff is high enough (emissions-wise) to justify it.

‘I’m against ULEZ, the people who can only afford old cars are the ones going to be hit, the ones who need cars for work.

‘It (the lower speed limit) doesn’t create less accidents or less serious injuries. People I have spoken to in England are horrified and think it’s ridiculous.’

And David Davies, of Pontypridd, added: ‘I believe 20mph is a bit of a silly idea to be honest. Some of the stuff they have claimed about killing less people and people safer is not really true. 

‘It’s fine around schools, hospitals, places like that but on a normal road where there’s hardly any houses is a bit stupid. The people I know, the majority definitely think it’s a bit silly or a political statement.’

Rishi Sunak has vowed to clamp down on ‘anti-motorist’ measures such as blanket 20mph speed limits and low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs)

The Prime Minister detailed his plans for a clampdown on the war on motorists on Twitter – including curbs on councils’ abilities to impose 20mph zones and low traffic neighbourhoods

Rishi Sunak announced a crackdown on councils’ war on motorists last week – and is expected to unveil curbs on the times that cars are banned from bus lanes and a curb on the use of number plate recognition cameras.

Speaking in July, Mr Sunak said: ‘The vast majority of people in the country use their cars to get around and are dependent on their cars.

‘When I’m lucky enough to get home to North Yorkshire, it’s more representative of how most of the country is living, where cars are important.

‘I just want to make sure people know that I’m on their side in supporting them to use their cars to do all the things that matter to them.’

However, he told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday that councils will still be able to impose measures as long as they had the ‘consent’ of local residents. 

On Saturday, transport secretary Mark Harper said there was little evidence that 20mph speed limits were actually adhered to by the majority of drivers.

He told Times Radio: ‘The research the Department for Transport did, a proper research study, showed that it doesn’t actually make much difference in actually reducing speed(s).

‘Compliance isn’t good in areas where drivers can’t see the need for it, so we think local authorities should make these decisions where they think there are sensible reasons, for example, around schools -(it is) perfectly sensible to have a lower speed limit there – but we shouldn’t have blanket ones.

‘And that is why we’re looking at strengthening guidance to make it clear that a blanket 20mph speed limit doesn’t make sense.’ 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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