6,000 Speeding Tickets Issued in Dunstable's 20 Zone

A Freedom of Information request placed by Dunstable News Desk editor, Alan Winter, has revealed that since cameras were installed in Dunstable's 20mph zones, almost 6,000 tickets have been issued.

Location and Number of Tickets*
Drovers Way, towards Houghton Regis 1494
Drovers Way, towards West Street 2788
Langdale Road, outside the school 282
Lowther Road, towards Beech Road 124
Lowther Road, towards Langdale Road 631
Meadway, towards Canesworde Road 619

5814  tickets were issued in the three years the 20 mph zones have been active, between  July 2013, and the end of June 2016, all caught by speed cameras. The biggest numbers of tickets were to drivers travelling along Drovers Way towards West Street, and towards Houghton Regis.

Although a large "20" sign is painted at the start of Brewers Hill leading into Drovers Way, there is no further large warning sign on that route. And no painted-on-road sign leading from West Street into Drovers Way.

Up to 24 mph no action is taken, then up to 31 mph the offender is given the option of going on a diving awareness course or plead guilty, pay a fine, and get 3 points on your licence or attend court.
Many people who receive a ticket opt to take a course, rather than be fined and pay a penalty.

On Social Media, Streetlife writer Neal R. wrote, "I was clocked doing 28mph, I have to go on a safe driving course next month. I have no complaint about being caught as the speed signs are there for a good reason."

And Roger P. wrote, "I have a ticket from Lowther Road. £100! I was doing 26mph.
Ironically I was - am - one of those who think it will save lives - Maddening or not!!"

Sue O. commented, " I received notice of prosecution for doing 26 mph in the 20mph zone after visiting friends in Eaton Bray !! £100 fine seems a little excessive especially as off road bikes regularly speed along our local roads with no fear of prosecution!"

Alan Winter, who stood as an Independent candidate at the last Central Bedfordshire Council elections, and who is a member of Speed Watch, said, "I haven't been caught (yet!) but clearly the large number of tickets suggests that something is very wrong. Surely we all want to save lives? But drivers are still speeding."

"The public perception of the 20 MPH speed limit is that they are in place to raise money from easy target drivers. I don't think that is the real reason. Our council needs to improve on visibility of signing to eradicate the excuse that the driver didn't know the speed limit. That should reduce the number of tickets issued whilst improving road safety."

"The regulations are poor. They set limits for sign post sizes, for example. But the size being used is not big enough, in my opinion. And there is confusion over whether to have 20 mph painted on the roads or not.  Signs painted on the road are easily more visible as they in right in front of the driver."

Mr Winter took these photographs to prove his point.

1. In this picture, Drovers Way is off to the left and motorists have to negotiate 2 consecutive mini-roundabouts, and contend with a plethora of road signs. No signs warn of a change of road speed if turning off to the left.

2. Turning the corner into Drovers Way, from a 30 MPH road, with no advance warning of a change of speed limit, it is easy to see how a motorist might miss the 20 MPH sign, especially whilst checking their all round vision, changing gears, roundabout negotiations, and assimilating to a new road with new street furniture.

3. Once a driver has turned the corner into Drovers Way, it may be too late for them to see the 20mph sign. For the traffic entering off West Street there is no large "20" painted on the road. Near most other junctions in Dunstable's 20 MPH zone there are 20 MPH signs painted-on-the-road.

Even a small cul-de-sac opposite The Highwayman in the south of Dunstable has this 20 MPH warning painted on the road:

Google Streetview 2015: off the A5 Dunstable

4. This is Lowther Road. Entering Beech Road from the A5 there is a large 20 MPH sign painted on the road, but this is not repeated for motorists who subsequently turn right into the long and winding road of Lowther Road. However, as can be seen, a large warning sign warns of  speed cameras, and an even smaller sign gives the speed as 20 MPH.

The 631 tickets issued in Lowther Road towards Langdale Road, suggests that these 20 MPH signs are not big enough.

*Note about the data.
 as many of these offences have not yet been finalised figures are subject to change. The numerical data presented in the freedom of Information response is an un-audited snapshot of unpublished data sourced from "live" systems and is subject to the interpretation of the original request by the individual extracting the data. Link to data.

UPDATE: A Second Freedom of Information was requested. See results: http://dunstablenewsdesk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/dunstable20mph.html
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