One in four London cars fined for 20mph speeding offences amid 700% surge in tickets issued

20mph sign in Wimbledon (Getty Images)
20mph sign in Wimbledon (Getty Images)

The equivalent of one in every four cars registered in London have been slapped with speeding fines for exceeding 20mph in the past six years, new figures reveal.

Some 595,000 tickets have been issued by the Metropolitan Police since 2018, which is 85 per cent of the 700,000 fines handed out over the same time period across the whole of Britain.

This was revealed by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by The Times, which found that the Met has increased the number of tickets issued for 20mph offences by 700 per cent since 2018.

Last year, people driving between 20mph and 30mph were fined eight times more than those driving above 60mph.

It comes after London Mayor Sadiq Khan lowered speed limits on multiple main roads across the capital.

Recent years have seen Mr Khan prioritise making the city “safer and greener”, by encouraging more walking and cycling over driving.

He has asked the Met to ensure it has the capacity to enforce up to one million speeding fines by next year.

The Mayor of London’s Commissioner for walking and cycling, Will Norman, told The Times: “Lowering speeds is one of the most important things we can do to reduce road danger.

“We’ll continue to work with TfL, the Met Police and London’s boroughs to make it easier and safer for people to walk, cycle and use public transport, creating a safer, greener London for everyone.”

The Metropolitan Police told The Standard: “The evidence tells us that speeding is a factor in a significant number of collisions in London, particular those that result in death or serious injury.

"The Met, working with partners, will continue to undertake both prevention activity to keep road users safe and enforcement action against drivers who fail to comply with the speed limit."

The last six years have seen a record number of fines issued for 20mph offences across the whole country, with more than 216,000 charges made in 2023 – four times more than in 2018.

In January, location technology company TomTom said London’s 20mph speed limits have made the city centre the world’s slowest for drivers.

Journeys of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) in central London took an average of 37 minutes and 20 seconds last year.

This was the longest time among the 387 cities across 55 countries analysed, putting London top of the slow city centre ranking for the second year in a row.

At the time, a spokesperson for Mr Khan described the study as “misleading”.

They said: “It only includes analysis from a very small part of the city centre, not the whole of London.

“Comprehensive TfL data suggests that journey times on the TfL road network actually remain at similar levels to those in 2019, while analysis from around the UK suggests that lower speed limits have not increased congestion.

“Roadworks are the biggest cause of congestion in cities, which is why the mayor’s infrastructure coordination service is working with boroughs and utility companies to reduce delays caused by roadworks, helping to save London road users over 1,250 days of roadworks since 2019.”