How fast will get a speeding ticket in 20mph limit in London?

With much of London covered by 20mph speed limits – with the likes of Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea, and Merton having around 100% of borough-managed roads at 20mph – drivers are concerned about news that the Metropolitan Police has cut speed camera tolerances.

Here motoring journalist and expert Pete Barden looks at how the changes around 20mph zones could impact thousands of drivers using the capital’s roads.

A 20mph zone on streetFinding a contact address for a 'real' person at Amazon can be stressful for some  (Credit: Pxhere)

What speed will I get a speeding ticket in a 20mph zone in London?

Police forces operate a ‘speed tolerance’ system for speed cameras, these set when a driver will receive a speeding fine for travelling at a certain speed above the prescribed limit.

Previously in London, the tolerance was set at the speed limit plus 10% plus 3mph – which would have meant that drivers would have escaped a penalty when driving up to 25mph in a 20mph zone in London.

Are more people getting speeding tickets in London’s 20mph zones?

By cutting the speed tolerance by 1mph, as explained above, The Sun has reported a 259% increase in speeding offences across London. While the figures are not specifically for 20mph violations, the large number of such zones in London is likely to mean there has been a big jump in fines for drivers exceeding the 20mph limit.

The number of drivers caught speeding in the first half of 2022 has been listed as 347,000, which is almost 2.5 times more than the second half of 2021.

When were the rules changed for speed limits in London?

The change in speed tolerance rules was not officially announced by the Met Police, so many drivers would have been unaware of having to change the way they were driving on roads in London. However, a Freedom of Information Request submitted to the Met Police states that “The MPS changed the enforcement threshold from 10% +3 to 10% +2 mph with effect from 14 May 2019.

"The threshold is now consistent with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) guidelines.”

Can I appeal because of the change in tolerance?

While there may be other reasons why you can challenge a speeding fine, the fact that the Met Police changed the tolerance is not one of them. Speed limits are set for reasons of safety and all drivers should adhere to them at all times to protect themselves, other road users, and pedestrians.

Can I check if I have got a speeding ticket?

No. Despite some online hoaxes claiming to help drivers check any outstanding speeding tickets, there is no way the drivers in the UK can check this information. You can find out more information on if you will get a speeding ticket here.

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Can I get on a speed awareness course if caught speeding in a 20mph zone in London?

There is no reason why you can’t get on a speed awareness course if caught exceeding the limit in a 20mph zone in the capital, but this will, of course, depend on how fast you were travelling and your previous driving record regarding speeding fines. You can find out more about your chances of being offered a speed awareness course here.

New 20mph zones launched in London

New 20mph speed limits have been brought into force across sections of roads located in five London boroughs.

The new limits account for 17 miles of red routes in Camden, Islington, Hackney, Haringey and Tower Hamlets. See local signage for new restrictions that are now live in these boroughs of London.

New 20mph zones for London

TfL is planning to or has already added another 40 miles of 20mph zones in London from September 2023. The zones are located on the following roads. 

  • A205: Woolwich Common, South Circular Road, Catford Road, Stanstead Road, London Road, Thurlow Road, Christchurch Road, Poynders Road, Dulwich Common
  • A20: Eltham Road, Lee High Road, Lewisham Way
  • A202: Queens Road, Peckham High Street, Camberwell Church Street, Camberwell New Road
  • A2: New Cross Road, Old Kent Road
  • A201: New Kent Road
  • A100: Tower Bridge Road
  • A200: Jamaica Road
  • A3: Clapham Road, Kennington Park Road
  • A3204: Kennington Lane
  • A203: Stockwell Road
  • A23: Camberwell New Road, Streatham Hill, Streatham High Road
  • A214: Tooting Bec Road
  • A24: Clapham Common South Side, Balham High Road, Upper Tooting Road, High Street Colliers Wood
  • A4: Cromwell Road, Brompton Road
  • A3220: Pembroke Road, Holland Road, Warwick Road, Redcliffe Gardens
  • A232: West Wickham High Street

Information for information only and all speed restrictions should be fully adhered to. 

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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (, New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? ( Stuff Magazine (, Fastcar Magazine (, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

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