Police officers will not enforce Brighton and Hove’s new 20mph limits - despite national police chiefs ordering tougher action on speeders.

Last week the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) issued beefed-up guidelines on enforcing 20mph limits across the country, claiming speeding offences in residential streets “won’t be tolerated”.

Sussex Police had previously announced it would only support 20mph speed limits when they were self-enforcing – leaving it up to drivers to stick to the limit.

And despite the new guidelines the force refused to alter its approach yesterday, insisting no extra resources would be used to track down drivers.

The ACPO guidance said officers should be handing out speeding tickets and penalty points for exceeding the speed limit in 20mph zones.

Driver awareness courses could be offered to offenders speeding at 24 to 31mph, instead of taking penalty points.


Motorists caught speeding at 35mph or more would also be reported to the courts.

But Chief Inspector Natalie Moloney of the Sussex Road Policing Unit said the guidance “does not alter the position already adopted by Sussex Police”.

She said: “Sussex Police can enforce the speed limit in these areas but we do not expect to use additional resources to monitor compliance with the restrictions.

"It's important that roads are carefully designed to ensure that drivers habitually self-enforce when it comes to speed limits.

“Limits are only one element of speed management and local speed limits should not be set in isolation.”

Campaigners said Sussex Police’s decision not to devote resources to tracking down 20mph speeders was “wrong”.

Rod King, founder of the 20s Plenty For Us campaign, said: “The game has clearly changed with this new guidance.

“Forces including Sussex Police have now been given the tools to pursue drivers who ignore the 20mph limit.

“It would be wrong if the police as responsible enforcers did not use these new powers to enforce the law.”

But Chris Nutley, director of Radio Cabs and member of campaign Unchain the Brighton Motorist, said: “I’m glad the police have taken that approach because that gives a little more time for us to continue the fight against the implementation of the 20mph limit.

“It shows that here in Brighton 20mph limits are unworkable.”

Brighton and Hove City Council has been seeking views on plans to introduce the 20mph speed limits to areas including Kemp Town, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, and parts of Portslade, Hangleton, Withdean, Hollingbury and Patcham.

Current roads in Brighton and Hove with 20mph speed limits include most residential streets, plus the heart of the city centre.

The local authority claims the 20mph speed limit is needed to improve road safety.