Police and council in 20mph row

SLOW DOWN, YOU MOVE TOO FAST The 20mph speed limit has sparked a row
SLOW DOWN, YOU MOVE TOO FAST The 20mph speed limit has sparked a row

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PORTSMOUTH City Council is considering taking Hampshire police to court over its refusal to enforce 20mph zones.

Transport boss Cllr Jason Fazackarley said he wants to force the police to reconsider their stance on the city’s roads.

At the moment, officers will stop motorists breaking the limit as they go about their patrols – but the police won’t routinely enforce 20mph limits.

Cllr Fazackerley said the council was considering taking the police to a judicial review over the issue.

A total of 94 per cent of residential streets have a 20mph limit, but national police policy is not to use its camera vans to police limits lower than 30mph.

Cllr Fazackarley said: ‘That advice comes from the Association of Chief Police Officers and we understand it’s not legally binding.

‘We can’t see, as the whole city’s under this limit, how it would make any real difference to them, and we want them to make sure our speed limits are stuck to.

‘We are looking into calling a judicial review, which we hope will change their minds.’

Cllr Fazackerley also confirmed the council will pull out of the Hampshire Safer Roads Partnership at the end of this month – signalling an end to static speed cameras in the city.

Hampshire police’s head of roads policing, Superintendent Chris Brown, said: ‘Portsmouth 20mph zones are routinely patrolled by uniformed officers going about their normal duties, providing visible deterrent.

‘Someone driving at excessive speed would be subject to being stopped by police and could be subject to prosecution.

‘Safety camera vans are sent to high casualty sites, to areas where we can reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured.

‘The national guideline from ACPO is that there should not be routine enforcement by camera vans for a 20mph limit.’