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Southwark defy police objections as 20mph speed limit to be imposed

20mph speed limit sign Photo: PA

A London borough is defying police objections to become the latest local authority to introduce a 20mph speed limit on roads.

The news comes as one of the country's leading transport experts predicted an explosion in driverless cars and buses as the next step in road safety.

Southwark Council is expected to cut the speed limit on all but a handful of roads from 30mph at the end of the month.

The Metropolitan Police said it opposed the move on 33 roads in the borough where the average speed is in excess of 24mph.

A letter from the Police was submitted to the council as a formal objection to the plan.

Introducing sped limits where traffic speeds are too high places an unrealistic expectation to enforce on the Metropolitan Police.

"The Metropolitan Police objects to a 20mph speed limit on any road in the London Borough of Southwark where the mean speed is above 24mph.

Southwark is following Islington and Camden, where 20mph limits already exist and the City of London which is lowering the speed limit on July 20th.

Professor David Begg, a former government transport advisor, said sensors which can detect pedestrians and cyclists and then apply a vehicle's brakes will soon start appearing on cars.

He believes the technology will herald the arrival of driverless cars, trucks and buses in London within 20 years.