Tower Bridge Speed Restrictions

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Monday 9 February 2004 11.03am
Last week a cab driver pointed out to me that the speed limit on Tower bridge had been reduced to 20 miles per hour.
He also pointed out the speed cameras above the road at both ends that look surprisingly similar to congestion cameras.

Now seeing as Tower Bridge falls outside of the zone it's obvious that these are not related to congestions charging but instead digitally take a picture of the vehicle as it approaches the bridge and again as it leaves the bridge.

It can therefore be calculated how long it takes a vehicle to cross the bridge and establish whether or not the driver has exceeded the speed limit.

It seems that a number of drivers are unaware of these new arrangements (including myself until last week) and last night at 12.30am, a fellow driver tried 5to run me off the road when he became impatient with my insistance to drive according to the speedlimit - unfortunately for him I don't fancy a speeding ticket.

Who can I contact to ask that the new speed limit is displayed better for the benefit of drivers that haven't noticed the tiny new signs on the bridge?

Monday 9 February 2004 11.23am

How are you sure that the cameras are measuring speed in the way you claim?

Surely we'd have heard about the rash of tickets, if this was the case.

Are you sure it isn't another urban myth, told to you by the cabbie?

...there's plenty more c**** in the cup.
Monday 9 February 2004 11.40am
I'm with Ivanhoe on this one. Although I can't be sure, when those cameras appeared at the end of last year I had assumed they were some kind of anti terrorist measure. You'll notice that the cameras face both ways on each gantry which is unusual for speed cameras.

I've seen similar gantries in other places, there's one on Farringdon Road/Clerkenwell Road lights.

There are cameras that work in the way you describe in Limehouse Link - so it's no use slowing down the for the camera as your speed has been measured through the whole tunnel.

And hasn't the speed limit been 20mph there for a while? I only realised it was on Bermondsey Street as I left the 20 mph zone....
Monday 9 February 2004 12.25pm
Thanks for the reassurance.

Having only recently started driving in London again I was terrified that I had been logged ambling over the bridge at 30mph with a speedcamera neatly logging all my speeding incidents.

I guess it's not really a problem during the day as the traffic rarely gets to a speed likely to break the limit.
Monday 9 February 2004 12.29pm
I have a vague idea that Tower Bridge speed limit has been 20mph for years. There is also a weight limit of 17 tonnes, because the bascules of the bridge cannot cope with massive trucks without damage. I think this used to be enforced by the City of London police rather than the Met.

My suspicion is that the cameras are there mostly to deter/record HGVs over the weight limit crossing the bridge.

Found this by a quick google.
Monday 9 February 2004 12.50pm
A couple of years ago, I had the misfortune to have to review the Transport for London traffic management scheme document before the Congestion Charging Order came into force.

I'm pretty certain there was a section which talked about the need for the police to enforce more closely the weight restriction on Tower Bridge by use of new CCTV enforcement cameras - to monitor the number of axles and types of plate of relevant vehicles (I think HGV's have a certain coloured plate on the rear ?) and issue automatic fines.

I guess the cameras Tineke is talking about could be these.

Monday 9 February 2004 2.55pm
A friend of mine got a ticket for breaking the 20mph speed limit across Tower Bridge in 1981 (or early 1982,). At the time we were both surprised that such an arbitary and universally ignored speed limit existed then, - so it's been around for a while
Monday 9 February 2004 3.12pm
Plenty of interesting stuff here.

The thing that amazes me is that we have a transport "policy" that recognises that Tower Bridge (surely THE monument that London's famous for) is weak and vulnerable to heavy traffic, but which also ensures that the C-zone ends just short of it, thus ensuring that Tower Bridge is used by lots of traffic.

Joined-up lunacy

...there's plenty more c**** in the cup.
Monday 9 February 2004 3.55pm
Someone somewhere actually maintains a webpage regarding these cameras - and the speed limit, which has always been 20mph. Looking at the photos, with there being so many cameras (and what looks like attached floodlights), could they be BBC Jamcams? The BBC declares they have some there, and this could explain why Tineke hasn't been done for her 30mph sojourns across the bridge...?!?

Monday 9 February 2004 5.16pm
You're slipping, James ;)

I posted a link to messages ago.

The BBC jamcam - not working today - is up at the junction with East Smithfield by what I still think of as the Royal Mint.

The ones photographed are on the bridge approaches.
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