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Hymie | 21:43 Fri 16th Feb 2024 | News
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I’m surprised this news story hasn’t been posted on AB, where over 500 have been caught speeding due to a fake 50MPH sign – it looks pretty genuine to me in the photo.

The authorities are saying that the speeding fines are valid (despite the fake sign).

Of course some of those caught speeding may lose their licence due to reaching 12 points.

NJ might have something to say about this.



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//where over 500 have been caught speeding due to a fake 50MPH sign//

--- the above isn't necessarily true. For example if their average speed was over 50mph on the whole average speed section they were speeding for some or all of the 40mph bit.  

I would have thought they could and should have tweaked their calculation to allow for the stretch marked as 50 as being 50, although I doubt it would have affected the average much though- maybe they should have allowed a slightly higher average on hose days- say 46 instead of 44 (assuming they allow 40+10% normally)

10C, I didn't realise you were referring to motorways.  The road in the OP is an A road.

//I would have thought they could and should have tweaked their calculation //

I doubt the plod (or whomever) would think of or be capable of such subtleties.

Sorry Barry! It's an age thing! I'm off for me brekkie. Full English! Byeeeeee!

I suspect they mean the cameras have a tolerate and don't capture small levels of overspeed. That a 10mph over the falsely signed stretch wouldn't trigger it if the motorist had driven perfectly before and after.


Seems a bit tight to me, but perhaps they are concerned of folk putting up fake signs after getting caught in order to get off ? In which case the best thing is to sort the real issue that encouraged the authorities to muck about with the limits in the first place.


"A Transport for London spokesman said: “Safety is our number one priority..."

Oh, and making screeds of cash from the hated motorist then selling our plans to other greedy, tax-crazed local authorities so they can charge to drive on third world style roads and have no parking on the street.

I know that area very well indeed and I’m well versed with this story. This is a lengthy report (all my own work), but I urge you to read it because there is more to this story than the media would have you believe. So first, the history:

The stretch in question is about two miles long. It stretches from “Crittals Corner” (the A20 junction with the A224) to the Kent/Greater London boundary, near to a BP/McDonalds service area. The new limit is only on the eastbound carriageway and it was imposed because that carriageway has been prone to serious flooding. There have been a number of bad accidents and, for once, the speed limit was introduced genuinely for safety.

The stretch has never been 50mph (the limit displayed on the “rogue” sign). Before this change, eastbound the A20 was 50mph until a point towards the eastern end of the Crittals Corner flyover, after which it was National Speed Limit (NSL). Here are two GSV shots of the eastbound road. The first is on the Crittals Corner flyover, showing the point where the 50 limit previously changed to NSL and now changes to 40mph. Those two NSL signs have been changed to full sized “40” roundels:,0.117029,90h,1.41p,0.42z,ZachmDzHGp3x0nHPGrg8bg

The second is at the start of the “on” slip road to the eastbound A20 from Crittals Corner (so joining the carriageway in the first shot). This was also signed NSL and those two NSL roundels have also been replaced by normal sized "40" roundels:,0.115784,88.36h,1.41p,0.42z,VCV9sxCHX5Iei-IQuI0IWQ

Drivers heading east on the main A20 now see the limit reduce from 50 (which begins at Kemnal Manor Cemetery, about two miles to the west) to 40 at the end of the flyover. Those joining via the slip road see it increase from 30 to 40 at the start of the slip road.

This new restriction was accompanied by large dot matrix signs warning of the new limit, both on the main carriageway and at the foot of the slip road. They were in place a couple of weeks either side of the introduction which was early November 2023.

The rogue "50" sign was a good bit further along the e/b carriageway, almost at the end of the new 40 stretch, just before the BP/McDonalds service area at Upper Ruxley. It was just a few hundred yards from the end of the stretch, which is on the Greater London/Kent boundary. I couldn't be sure exactly when it appeared but it certainly was not there from the outset and I don't think it appeared much before Christmas. But importantly it was so far into the new 40 stretch (which is enforced by an average speed system) that the police have calculated that any driver travelling at 40mph before the rogue sign but at 50mph after it would average, over the entire stretch, 43mph. In a 40mph limit enforcement normally begins at 46mph, so any driver obeying the signs and who was persuaded by the rogue sign that the limit had changed to 50mph would not have seen enforcement.

Some of the press reports say that drivers allege that the rogue 50 sign was “left in place” after the change. That is not correct. It was not left in place because it was never there. There was never any requirement for 50 signs (either terminal or repeaters) to be anywhere on that stretch. As confirmed by my GSV screenshots, and by press reports that satnavs are "still showing the road at 70mph", the road was subject to NSL by virtue of being dual carriageway with no streetlighting (which ends about 300 yards east of the end of the flyover).

There have been a number of media reports on this. This one is from Yahoo (hopefully the link works):

The photo allegedly shows the rogue sign immediately before the exit to the BP/McDonalds service area. The problem is, that exit is nothing like the one shown in the photo. It shows a single sharp turn off from the inside lane. In reality the slip road to the turnoff begins as a third lane, some 2-300 yards before the exit, with a lengthy hatched area separating the slip road from the main carriageway. The Armco barrier is different and there is no large blue sign as shown in the photo (which unfortunately cannot be read). There may well be a 50 sign in the location depicted by the photo (if indeed it is an undoctered image), but that location is not on the stretch of road in question here.

There is also a Facebook group set up for motorists facing penalties:

In the Facebook article, a “50” sign is shown beside a stone wall, as if in a cutting or under a bridge. There is nowhere in the stretch that has such a wall or bridge. The road is mainly on a level above the surrounding land and the only bridge is a high level footbridge crossing a short cutting, connecting a golf course to the back of a garden centre. There are a few locations in the area where a 50 sign is in a cutting. Very coincidentally, at the previous junction, Frognal Corner (where the limit is 50mph), the A20 passes under a roundabout forming the junction with the A222. Beneath that roundabout the road is in a cutting edged by stone walls, together with a 50 repeater sign, just as in the Facebook picture. Even more coincidentally the stains on the wall behind that sign are identical to those in the Facebook photo. I’ve attached photos below to show these two very puzzling conundrums.

I hope the Facebook group is not relying on either of those two images to support their cause.

In the light of all this it is unsurprising that the Met have decided that drivers will not have their penalties rescinded:

For those who say this has been done by TfL for revenue purposes, TfL gain no revenue from speeding enforcement. Fees from awareness courses are split between the course provider and the police (roughly 2:1) and revenue from fixed penalties and fines go to the Exchequer. TfL’s only involvement was making the order which provides the new limit as they are responsible for the road up to the border with Kent.

^^^Unfortunately some of my links do not work here on AB. I can't do much about the Yahoo link, but I'll do a couple of screen grabs from GSV and post them up.

Here's the two GSV screenshots:

There is no doubt in my mind that this new limit is properly signed, the TRO providing for it is properly made and so is enforceable. The rogue sign was definitely placed there by an unauthorised party, some time after the limit came into force, but it made no difference to whether the limit was enforceable. Many of the drivers who have been caught make no mention of the rogue sign, but simply say they were confused. The campaign began long before the presence of the rogue sign was noticed and it is my view that many drivers simply were not paying attention. 

I think these may be the streetview links from Judge's post @11.18,0.117029,90h,1.41p,0.42z,ZachmDzHGp3x0nHPGrg8bg,0.115784,88.36h,1.41p,0.42z,VCV9sxCHX5Iei-IQuI0IWQ

No. They will not post here. If you open a new tab and type https://www. then copy and paste the rest of Judges links after it you will see the streetview camera shots. 

I've Shortened the links and these work

First Streetview link

Second Streetview link second link

Thanks both.

To clarify, NJ, the motorists that have been fined were speeding along that length of road even if the part affected was 50mph, not 40? 

Despite all the above the fact remains that there has probably been a large increase in speeding fines imposed on this stretch of roads over and above what was previously "normal".

That being the case it follows that otherwise law-abiding drivers have somehow been duped into believing the limit was higher than than it is. 

It would interesting if they was a marked increase on number of speeders during that period

"To clarify, NJ, the motorists that have been fined were speeding along that length of road even if the part affected was 50mph, not 40?" 

No, not quite, barry.

The entire stretch (of about two miles) is subject to a new 40mph limit, having previously been NSL (70mph for cars). It is properly signed to denote that new limit. A single unauthorised and non-compliant "50" sign appeared a few hundred yards from the end of the stretch, some time after the imposition of the new limit. That sign has now been removed and I am not sure how long it was there for, but my guess is for no longer than about three weeks.

After it became apparent that the sign may have confused some drivers, the police took out their tape measure. They calculated that if a driver adhered to the 40 limit from its beginning until they reached the rougue "50" sign and then sped up to 50 from there until the end of the stretch, they would have averaged no more than 43mph (because the false  "50" stretch is very short). The new limit is enforced by an average speed system. This take a photograph of each vehicle as it passes the beginning of the stretch and another when it passes the end. The photos are timed and the elapsed time and the known fixed distance between the two points are used to calculate each vehicle's average speed. This system, like all other speed enforcement systems in England & Wales, is set to begin enforcement at (Limit + 10% + 2mph) - so 46mph in a 40mph limit.

Since the average speed a vehicle should do over the entire stretch - including allowing them to travel at 50mph in the disputed section - should be no more than 43mph, it means that drivers seeing enforcement at 46mph or above must have either exceeded the proper 40mph limit or the disputed 50mph in the short final stretch, or both. 

It is my view that the rogue 50 sign is very much a red herring. Large numbers of drivers were caught speeding before it appeared (stories began almost from day one when the rogue sign was most certainly not present). Many others have been caught at excessive speeds, often well over 50mph. There is a general atmosphere among them that "it's all so unfair", "it's so confusing", "it's just a cash cow", "it's Mayor Khan lining his pockets" and so on. 

It's actually none of those things. It's perfectly fair and not at all confusing (as I believe my photos demonstrate). I have no time for Mayor Khan or his schemes to extract money from drivers, but as I have explained, TfL gets no cash from this. TfL is responsible for that road until it crosses into Kent, just past the service area. There have been some serious accidents on that stretch caused by drivers hitting large amounts of standing water at high speed. Many of these have involved serious injuries and there have been at least three fatalities that I know of.

As there are tolerances, I wonder if they used 57mph for the distance covered by the rogue sign?

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