Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The labels are off and now it’s official: the speed limit in Haringey’s side roads is 20mph. There is no doubt that impacts at lower speeds greatly reduce the risk of serious injury. I have my doubts, however, whether this new limit with be observed. Driving regularly in the boroughs of Hackney and Islington, where the 20 mph limit is widespread, I am aware that 20mph speed limits are observed infrequently and then only 100 or so metres beyond the boroughs’ speed cameras. The speed limit through Alexandra Palace has been 20mph for a number of years and, despite this being a busy, public route, observance is extremely low. I wanted, therefore, to know how Haringey Council intended to enforce the new limit in our quiet side roads. In a response to an enquiry Cllr. Goldberg wrote:


“The council will be monitoring the speed limits in the borough... and consider the  introduction of additional measures, such as traffic calming,  where this was deemed necessary.  The council will also work with Metropolitan Police who will take appropriate action where speeding problems are raised.”  When the same limit was introduced in Islington, Scotland Yard’s traffic management unit wrote: “An unrealistically low speed limit in these roads will create an enforcement problem where one does not currently exist. We will not routinely enforce 20mph speed limits and zones”. (Islington Gazette.) Since then on the spot fines have been handed out but this form of enforcement is, by its nature, piecemeal. Cllr. Goldberg did not specify how the council will monitor the new limit.


The Transport Research Laboratory conducted a study for the DfT which brought together a series of findings from local authorities and international case studies of traffic calming measures. It found that the use of speed limit signs alone only had a small effect on the mean average speed, by around 1-2 mph, whereas more extensive traffic calming measures such as speed cameras produced greater speed reductions. Islington, Brighton and Bristol saw a decrease of only 1 mph the the year following the introduction of a 20mph limit.


So, in terms of reducing speed, signs have proven largely ineffective: but this is the preferred choice of Haringey Council. And the cost? A hefty £900,000. Given that the borough’s roads are in a parlous state, a patchwork quilt of repairs, I would have thought that this money could have been better spent protecting the safety of road users by repairing pavements and road surfaces: a view I imagine which would be shared by a colleague who required extensive dental reconstruction when his bike went into a pothole sending him over the handlebars.


At a time of government cuts, as Haringey representatives are constantly reminding us, it would be reassuring to think that funding was spent wisely: I fear our unsightly 20mph speed limit signs will prove, however, to be little more than a very expensive gesture.




Tags for Forum Posts: -, 000, 20, HARINGEY'S, MPH, SIGNS, SPEND., TRAFFIC, £900

Views: 2551

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks John D. Here's more, a lot more, detail from a Haringey briefing note:

" 20mph signs are designed and installed in accordance to the Traffic Signs Regulation and General Directions 2002 and as per the guidance of the Traffic Signs Manual chapter 3.
The presence of street lighting means that the roads automatically have a speed limit of 30 mph. It is therefore a requirement of the regulations that, when lit roads have a speed limit other than 30 mph, repeater signs are always provided at the appropriate intervals, as drivers have only the repeaters to tell them that the limit is not 30 mph.

The criteria for siting 20mph limit repeater signs are:The maximum distance between consecutive signs on alternate sides of the carriageway is 200m.

The maximum distance between consecutive signs on the same side of the carriageway is 300m.

The size of the repeater signs installed in Haringey are 450mm.
Repeater signs do not need to be provided where the length of the speed limit is less than 200m, but the council however has provided signs in the roads which are less than the maximum length due to the above reason.

Every effort has been made to use the maximum distance in siting the signs on street lighting columns available and minimise street clutter. The council however can review the sign sitings at the locations where this is not the case.

20mph road markings are only advisory and cannot be enforced without upright signs. It’s a requirement of the regulations that the marking need be used in conjunction with upright 20mph limit signs if the speed limit is going to be enforced.

To make drivers aware of the new speed limit the council have also installed banners on lamp columns at around 26 entry points at the locations indicated on the plan  [not here] attached ".

Well I played spot the 20mph sign as a game with my son in the car yesterday, we got to 42 before we got bored, that was just Green Lanes to Tottenham Green leisure centre....

Gone now.

Ironically not many along Duckets Common, where acceleration is a problem, (a camera would sort this, as it has on Clissold Park stretch of Green Lanes,) but more signs should be added on the Duckets stretch, I struggled to see one.

The section between Manor House and New River is in Hackney, so not Haringey council's responsibility. Someone should take the 30mph sign down now: I wonder which council is responsible?

Actually I think it has been taken down... I looked out for it Saturday and couldn't see it

You're absolutely right - I hadn't noticed.


Although I agree with it in principle, what a complete waste of money. If you do 20 mph down White Hart Lane you will get a white van or BMW on your backside, both of which will cut you up to overtake. They should have spent the money on speed cameras and policing.

Mansfield Road in Gospel Oak has averaging cameras for enforcement.

ACPO 'clarification' from 2013 on enforcement:


Introduction on major routes from a year ago:



We live in a very strange world. It takes a camera to stop someone breaking the law in a car, even though they know they are acting unlawfully, but I would hazard a guess that the same person wouldn't break into my house just because I didn't have a CCTV camera visible at the front.
Most drivers don't think of speeding as an unlawful act. Or certainly not as a serious one. No worse than getting a parking ticket.



© 2024   Created by Hugh.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service