60,000 fines issued to drivers along A20 in Kent as speed limit suddenly changed from 70mph to 40mph

Drivers say the new speed limit signs installed along the A20 are 'too small' Credit: ITV News Meridian

A leading MP and a firm of specialist defence lawyers have backed angry motorists calling for the cancellation of millions of pounds worth of speeding fines issued on a Kent road in just six weeks.Speed cameras on the A20 between Sidcup and Swanley triggered more than 60,000 fines after the limit was suddenly lowered from 70mph to 40mph.

Drivers claim the signs at Crittals Corner were so small that they didn't notice them and their Sat Navs were still showing the original limits.

Drivers along that stretch of the A20 have been issued with 49,000 tickets in the last year.

But, in the last six weeks alone, the cameras issued 62,000 fines.

  • Jamie Foster is a sales representative from Sheerness who can't work without a driving licence but, after he got four speeding tickets in a week, he was handed a driving ban

Thousands of people have taken to social media to protest saying the change happened without prior warning and inadequate signage.

The cameras have caught so many drivers out, it's become the most prolific speed camera in the UK.

The total cost of speeding fines following the speed change on this road has now surpassed £6m.

Some of the cases have been taken up by a legal firm specialising in motoring law.

  • Dominic Smith from Patterson Law says he believes the fines are unjust and the drivers have a strong defence.

Since the six week period of the 62,000 fines, the signage has been improved.

In a statement issued by Transport for London in February, a spokesperson said: “Safety is our number one priority and we have temporarily introduced a 40mph speed limit on the A20 Sidcup Road due to ongoing surface water flooding which has caused a number of safety concerns and serious risk to road users.

"The reduced speed limit has been introduced in response to that risk.

"Major work is required to put in place permanent measures to tackle flooding here and we are working to do this as soon as possible.

"We plan to begin construction work on these measures in May.”

  • The fined motorists have formed a 4000-strong Facebook group have also gained the backing of Ashford MP Damian Green.

When asked about the charges, the Metropolitan Police told ITV News Meridian: "The signage is legal and correct.

"The new speed limit came into force on 18 October 2023 and signage explaining the speed limit to drivers is clear along the route. Any mitigation would need to be raised in Magistrates’ Court. "

A spokesperson from Kent County Council (KCC) said: "KCC are a course provider and only deal with clients once they are referred for a course by a Police Force. We, therefore, cannot comment on the ticket enforcement aspect.

"While attending our Speed Awareness courses, some clients have questioned our trainers about this particular stretch of road and of the validity of tickets issued at this location.

"In such cases, trainers will make the client aware that they cannot answer these queries and that any questions they have should be raised with the Police Force that issued the enforcement ticket."

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