This page focuses on issues solely within the City of London.
N.B. The City of London is an administrative division covering approximately one square mile within the capital of the United Kingdom (also known as 'London') it is not the entire capital. It is often referred to as the 'Square Mile' to avoid the obvious confusion.
For issues across the whole of London please see our main London page.
For local advice on roads and traffic issues email our local co-ordinator:
2006-08-12 Lower Thames Street Confusion
The building works narrowing Lower Thames Street in London have finally been removed after many months. The temporary 20mph limit which we were told was to 'protect the workforce' was enforced by cameras averaging the time taken to pass through the works. The works have now finished and the lanes have been restored to their former width. The roadside mounted 20mph signs have been removed but the cameras remain and so do a couple of 20mph roundels painted in the carriageway. The result is that drivers are uncertain what the speed limit is in that section of road. Some
do 20 and some do 30 until they see others doing 20 and then they slow down “just in case”, resulting in sudden braking, speedo watching and confusion. Minutes of the London Safety Camera Partnership meeting held on the 12th May 2006 reveal that enforcement was been stopped at Upper Thames Street following the completion of works. It was stated that the Traffic Order ran until July end, but the road layout was back to normal and it would be inappropriate to enforce in its current condition.
The question then, is why haven't they removed the cameras and the road markings? Perhaps they want an accident to happen so they can justify switching the cameras back on again.
Tower Bridge 20mph Limit
The 20mph speed limit on Tower Bridge is being enforced by SPECS cameras that are not painted yellow. The cameras are located on gantries positioned over the road at either end of the bridge.
The 20mph speed limit was introduced way back in the 1970s to minimize traffic-induced structural vibration to the bascules.
The cameras were erected in 2004 by the Corporation of London after concerns that the London Congestion Charge had led to an increase in traffic on the bridge which could cause long term structural damage. The cameras are not operated by the London Safety Camera Partnership, but by the Corporation of London and the City of London Police. As the cameras are not operated by a speed camera partnership the rules saying they must be painted yellow don't apply.
Regardless of this we understand that English Heritage have refused to allow them to be painted yellow as they would compromise the view of the bridge — though it is not exactly clear how large black gantries with cameras on top don't compromise the view of the bridge.
We would appreciate photos of these cameras if anyone happens to be passing.
In December 2005, a doctor who had been called out by police to attend an incident, was sent a Fixed Penalty Notice after the SPECS cameras on Tower Bridge caught her exceeding the 20mph speed limit on her way home at 3 in the morning.
Lower Thames Street SPECS Cameras Illegal!
The first pair of SPECS cameras enforcing the absurd 20mph limit westbound on Lower Thames Street have been incorrectly placed outside the 20mph zone. Every driver caught by these cameras will be entitled to a full refund of points and fine. If you have suffered additional hardship as a result of the incompetence of the London Safety Camera Partnership, contact a solictor.
This cock up does not apply to eastbound traffic.
For more details see our Talivan Incompetence page.