New 20mph Zone in Twickenham

20mph on Heath Road (on both sides)

20mph sign

And we’re off! Or, maybe we aren’t ‘off’. Or, maybe that’s the wrong thing entirely. As usual, what do we know? Well, one thing we do know is that the signs to create a 20mph zone in Twickenham town centre are going up. Having a 20mph limit in the central area is a good idea although there will be those that argue that it’s generally not possible to get much above 20mph anyway. For them, 20mph may be an aspiration rather than a limitation. But along with the 20mph signs on the principal routes are the signs on the side roads to remind drivers that it’s back to a 30mph maximum once you leave the main drag.

The 20mph limit is part of the Twickenham Action Plan. Having the signs close to the centre may not simply slow traffic down, it can also serve as a reminder to drivers that there’s something to slow down for. Whether it has much impact on traffic flow or congestion remains to be seen, if you’re stuck in a queue on Heath Road, Richmond Road or Cross Deep then 20mph might feel like a dream. Either way, we reckon reducing speeds in the busy junction that is Twickenham town centre is a good thing.

What’s a bit more tricky is that once you’re off the main routes then you’re back to the usual 30mph limit. We understand the rationale, namely that if it’s no longer a 20mph zone then drivers need to know but the appearance of these signs seems a tad strange especially when the roads in question are smaller, residential side streets. Do we want drivers to put their foot down (even if it’s subconsciously) once they’ve made a turning into, for example, Queens Road or Grosvenor Road. Surely a 20mph limit throughout a central zone would be more appropriate? And it might even involve fewer signs.

El Brute are amenable to giving consideration to more 20mph zones in the borough but, as we reported previously, it was all a bit less straightforward than you might expect. But the Council have started to give more publicity to the 20mph option and, with the growing profile of 20mph campaigns nationally as well as locally, it might not be too long before LBRuT are rooting around for the Tippex and a black marker pen to change those new 30mph signs into 20s.

And in the meantime, we do have a teeny concern that some of the new signs might not be ‘optimally located’ when viewed against other street furniture and the verdant forested plains of central Twickenham. What do you think?

This seems clear enough!

20mph on Heath Road (on both sides)

20mph on Heath Road (on both sides)

As does this…

New 20mph signs... by crossing

New 20mph signs… by crossing

Ah, so there were traffic lights lurking behind it after all.

So there are lights behind it after all!

So there are lights behind it after all!

Normal service has been resumed… in this residential street

30mph for Queen's Road

30mph for Queen’s Road

And here’s one we hid earlier. It’s time to dig out the pruning shears.

* Previously on twickerati (Is 20 plenty?)
* EL Brute 20 mph page
* 20s Plenty campaign


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News, Twickenham Action Plan

17 responses to “New 20mph Zone in Twickenham

  1. Liz

    Nobody should be encouraged to drive at 30mph in Queens Road. What a joke!

  2. Mike, milestone

    shame they did not carry it up the Whitton Road, no speed bumps or cameras so it is foot down time.
    Has anyone else noticed Friday nights there seems to be some sort of motor bike racing on the A316? really high-speed from about 9pm

  3. Jon Paul

    Its my understanding that in areas lit by street lamps, the signs denoting a change of speed (i.e. those at the beginning and end of the zone) have to be lit). Because reflective signs do not work in lit streets.

    Thus by the looks of it – the speed limit will be unenforceable until spot lights are installed.


  4. Twickerman is spot on with his comments. We must have created the only 20mph zone in the whole country where the speed limit increases to 30mph as you go down smaller, residential streets.

    I also echo his request for views from Twick Riverside councillors and candidates. I hope some of them will come out clearly for a proper 20mph zone throughout Twickenham.

    • Alexis

      I find this post about a 20mph speed limit a bit too political for my taste. Whilst Mr Goodrich is a local resident, he is also a LibDem activist so he knows perfectly well that there is only one Riverside Tory ward Councillor currently available to comment – so why bang on about that which is obvious? Judging by the Twitter traffic, Twickerman and hotshot LibDem Councillor Gareth Roberts are his chums, however, it would be good to know what the prospective LibDem and other Tory candidates think of the scheme. We are less than a month away from the election and I have yet to see anything interesting from either party – has anyone else?
      As to the speed limit. It appears to be something of a sop to the “20 is plenty” lobby. Was there ever a problem in the town centre? Unless you are an idiot or a delivery van driver, how do you do 30mph in Queens Rd, Sherland Rd, Amyand Park Rd or any of the other roads adjacent to the town centre zone, let alone in it! By contrast, there are and always have been speed problems in Strawberry Hill caused by commuter traffic trying to avoid the queues before the junctions at Staines Rd/Hampton Rd and Cross Deep/King St. No Councillor seems to be particularly interested, nor do the owners of MKG3000, one of who’s drivers (you know who you are) routinely scorches noisily up and down Popes Grove in a black Mazda sports car, braking hard for the pointless speed cushions which do nothing to slow down the lorries and delivery vans.
      PS: For some inexplicable reason, LibDem Councillor Gareth Roberts tweeted thus some time last night:
      “And Tony The Troll is probably typing this very minute”
      How weird, my beloved, who I think he refers to, was fast asleep in front of the TV, so his typing fingers were blissfully twitching on his knees rather than his Amstrad. Perhaps Gareth’s repeated bilious attacks are brought on by a surfeit of red wine? Anyway, he seems to have something of an unhealthy obsession with those who dare to cross and annoy him and brags about enjoying a seat in Hampton, “the 2nd safest LibDem ward in the borough”. Lets not forget how quickly and easily these sort of LibDem warriors renege on their pre-election pledges and truces once they sniff the possibility of a bit of power. We get the politicians we deserve if we don’t think about it before we walk to the polling station.

      PPS: Good old Gareth (I’m sure he won’t mind that familiarity) has failed to confirm or deny whether he has ever posted anonymously despite repeated requests to do so. Since he has been so outspokenly averse to others doing so, I wonder why he is so reluctant to issue a simple denial himself – after all, wouldn’t that clear the matter up once and for all?

    • Alexander

      If only you hacks could stand back and see how others see you when you whine on in these public forums. You are all, without exception, embarrassments to yourselves.

      fwiw there are plenty of idiots capable of doing 30 or more on Amyand Pk Rd – a street which I think has 4 infant schools and at least 3 nurseries along it or on near side roads. Amazing that the council thinks 30 is good for this but not for the town centre. If only the council hacks could stand back and see the world as real people see it…

    • Alexis

      I do hope Alexander won’t take too much offence if I dare to say that making a point, whether political or social, is a fundamental reason for the existence of these forums and we should thank Twickerati for giving us the opportunity to comment without criticism other than from those like Alexander. Neither my beloved nor I are particularly political although we are firmly opposed to the way our borough has been run by the LibDems for far too many of the last 30 years. Does that make us “hacks” or embarrassments to ourselves? No, it doesn’t. We are simply residents who dare to speak out about the way our borough is run, grows and flourishes. What’s so wrong with that? Alexander seems to see it otherwise.
      PS: Alexander might like to trot down to Popes Grove and observe the traffic once schools are back next week – there are 6 in the immediate vicinity, so not dissimilar to Amyand Park Road. Does anyone else remember play streets?

    • Walkinthepark

      “that there is only one Riverside Tory ward Councillor currently available to comment” Thanks for highlighting that Alexis, although we are all aware that of the Councillors we voted for last time only one is actually doing the job we elected her to do. What with that and landing us with the high rise on the station they promised they wouldn’t and a school that excludes most of our children when there is a shortage of school places I don’t think the Libdems are alone in having many voters firmly opposed to the way in which they have run the borough…….About time the politicians listened to the people who vote instead of calling each other names and slinging mud at each other as they pursue their own dogma and legacy projects.

      Looking forward to the logic behind the High Street “improvements” becoming miraculously clear to us all. At the moment, as is obvious from all these comments it is just bewildering

    • Alexis

      No reply tag to Walkinthepark’s post so this will have to do:

      Oh dear, I seem to have inadvertently widened this topic to take in the RISC campaign, legacy projects – whatever they are and the station high rise. Witp is well aware that there is only one Tory Riverside Councillor “doing the job”, however other readers may not be so well informed or interested, so it seemed worth drawing everyone’s attention to the likely political motive for Mr Goodrich’s post and his twitter traffic with other LibDem activists. Nevertheless, its good to see that this little exchange has vastly increased the number of thumbs up or down – there’s nothing worse than being ignored.

      My beloved, when awake, keeps an eye on the twitter stuff our local politicians post which often reduces him to Meldrew moments of disbelief. The slanging and bickering between the LibDems and UKIP is banal and does nothing to improve their perception among those of us who take an interest in who we choose to vote for. Having read their tweets, which I suggest others do if only for amusement, its quite hard to ever take them seriously again. Why are the local LibDem cyber warriors, seemingly led by Cllr Gareth Roberts so relentless in their attack on UKIP? Could they be worried about their impact in the target wards where they hope to regain control of the Council? There seems to be lots of LibDem activity in the northern wards and Twickenham Riverside – so far nothing in South Twickenham. To pre-empt good old Gareth and demonstrate that we are not UKIP supporters, may I please commend Yasmin Alibhai Brown’s “Another voice” open letter to Nigel Farage of UKIP in today’s Independent – good stuff.
      PS: Still not a dicky bird from Gareth Roberts about anonymous posting despite plenty of tweeting – perhaps now that he is a shadow spokesman he considers himself above responding to mere voters like us, or could he be unwilling to declare his past or current indiscretions? If so, he will join a long list of politicians who wish they had come clean sooner.

    • Alexis

      My apologies,
      This is the link to the Alibhai-Brown letter which I should have put in my last post.

  5. Sal Magundi

    Can El Brute err on the side of less is more when it comes to street signage. It’s all so shouty. And yes, it is completely bonkers to sign 30mph zones in side streets! Where’s the common sense?

  6. twickerman

    I’m in favour of the 20mph limit in the centre of Twickenham…..but why, oh why, have El Brute made such a horlicks of it with 30mph on our residential side roads that lead nowhere.

    One learned doctor and affected resident has dubbed his local streets as ‘the Residential Acceleration Zone’.

    The Council’s approach is completely muddled. On one hand they tell us 20mph will make our roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. But on the other they’re erecting 30mph signs all over the streets we live in and our children play in.

    It’s as if it was designed by the Ministry of Silly Walks!

    It’s not too late. The ‘listening’ Council can stIll remove the signs before the elections, and create a proper integrated 20mph zone in central Twickenham. But please don’t insult us with your impossible street by street petition Con.

    It would be fascinating to hear the views of Riverside councillors and candidates on this subject (though most seem to have been whipped to be keep a low profile on social media!).

  7. George

    A 20 mph in the zone once you get under the railway bridge on Heath Road, through to Twickenham Station on London Road and the Shell garage at Oak Lane / Richmond Rd would be easy to sign and would deal with the mix of 2 or 3 busy main routes, residential streets and ‘rat runs’. Simple and possibly even effective.

  8. Purple Haze

    When turning from the London Road into Railway Approach, the new 20mph sign in is totally hidden by a tree.
    A cynical person might think that’s deliberate…

  9. Joy

    Having lived in Twickenham and recently moved to the south coast, where there are 20mph zones nearby, I can verify as to how confusing it is. I am pretty sure I spent my first weeks here speeding terribly, but thinking I was fine doing around 30… The upside is that when you are trying to cross the road, it is less hairy, and if you are lost, as I was for weeks, the extra time that a lower speed allows is extremely helpful. Where I am, there is less traffic all round, though, so it works OK. My worry for Twickers is there is just so much traffic that 20mph may be wishful thinking for those creeping along at 5mph when they’re stuck behind buses and cars that seem to use Twickers town centre as some kind of A316 bypass.