A proposed 20mph speed limit in Surbiton town centre may not come into force after a political spat between councillors.

Liberal Democrats voted through plans for the limit - but Conservatives immediately invoked a little-known consitutional power to drag the matter before next month's full Kingston Council meeting.

Tory councillor Richard Hudson had introduced an amendment, voted down on Tuesday night, to create 20mph zones outside schools only.

He said he was concerned about potential for escalating costs, and said the "ridiculous" original scheme was "fantasy land".

He added: "When a committee [is] about to do something that's completely bonkers and you have the option to effectively bring it under further scrutiny, that to me is a very sensible use of full council.

"I've got no problem with 20mph zones outside schools."

The council's constitution allows three councillors to club together after a vote and call the matter before a full council meeting.

Malcolm Self, Liberal Democrat chairman of the Surbiton neighbourhood committee, said: "The point about neighbourhood committees is it's local democracy.

"If any decision that three councillors don't like gets called in and goes to full council, then what's the point of neighbourhoods?

"When we had three Liberal Democrats in Maldens and Coombe, and decisions were made in Maldens and Coombe that they didn't agree with, they didn't choose this mode of getting it to full council."

Coun Hudson added: "I think it was the right thing to do.

"They can do the same thing if they wish.

"I really didn't want to turn it into a political bunfight."

The 20mph zone would have included St Mark's Hill, Claremont Road, Surbiton Hill Road, Surbiton Road, Balaclava Road, Adelaide Road, Brighton Road and Avenue Elmers.