A POLICE operation has revealed that almost one in five drivers is ignoring the 20mph speed limit in Oxford, but the speeding motorists will not be fined.

St Giles, Binsey Lane, Ferry Hinksey Road, Mill Street and Richmond Road were targeted in an hour-long community speedwatch operation which saw police officers and members of the public armed with speed indication devices – not mobile cameras – on March 27 and April 11.

But speeding motorists can only be prosecuted if they are recorded by a fixed or mobile speed camera.

Officers measured the speed of 533 cars, vans and buses and found that 102 – just over 19 per cent – were travelling above 20mph and 70 of those vehicles were driving at speeds above 25mph. The force has written to those doing more than 25mph.

Thames Valley Police spokesman Adam Fisher said: “If someone is caught three times they are likely to face officer intervention, such as a home visit.”

Ch Insp Henry Parsons said: “Changing driver behaviour through education has been shown to have longer lasting effects on their errant behaviour than enforcement alone. Thames Valley Police, in line with Department for Transport guidance, has always maintained that roads subject to a 20mph limit should be self-enforcing, with the design and road engineering in place to help motorists appreciate that the road is subject to a lower limit.”

Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for transport Rodney Rose has ruled out 20mph zones in other county towns due to the lack of enforcement in Oxford.

“Nobody thinks they are going to get caught so nobody slows down,” he said.

“I would like to see the speed camera vans sent out now and again to Oxford.”

Richard Bradley, who was part of the campaign to introduce the lower speed limit to the city centre, said: “I would like to see them moving into some prosecutions where it seems sensible.”

Richard Mann, of campaign group Cyclox, said: “We need to make roads look like they should be 20mph. Mill Street is a long straight street and people will go fast. If you can narrow the street down or break up the sight lines you make it look like 20mph is a sensible speed.”