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No limit? 30mph signs have to be removed to catch speeding drivers

South Shropshire | News | Published:

Speed limit signs have had to be removed in order for police to legally catch speeding motorists through a village high street.

Police are now using hand-held speed cameras to conduct traffic enforcement on Leintwardine's High Street, where the A4113 goes through the village to the west of Ludlow.

But in a move that council contractors admitted might seem "totally illogical", 30mph signs have had to be taken down along the street as they had not been placed in line with the correct regualtions.

The "illegal" siting of the signs would mean speeding motorists could get out of being prosecuted by police, even though the limit was more than clear, it has emerged – a problem that has now been solved by simply taking them down.

Carole Gandy, Herefordshire Councillor for the Mortimer Ward that covers Leintwardine on the Shropshire border, said: "Obviously it still says 30mph going into the village at either entrance but it was the 'repeater' signs on the High Street that conflicted with the village lighting system."

She said the layout of street lighting alone is supposed to designate the speed and regulations say there should not also be signs there.

"Basically police were saying that as a result of that they weren't able to prosecute anybody because the signs are illegal."

In a letter to Mrs Gandy, Graham Hornsby, traffic regulation order officer for Herefordshire Council contractors Balfour Beatty, said: "At first I'm sure it may seem totally illogical to be removing 30mph repeater signs from within a 30mph speed limit."

But, he continued, "The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 dictates that repeater signs must not be used where the road is subject to a 30mph limit and has a system of street lighting.

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"It goes on to define a system of street lighting as being the presence on a road of at least three lamps lit by electricity provided for the purpose of illuminating the road and placed no more than 183 metres apart.

"It is the case that if 30mph repeater signs are present within the extent of a system of street lighting then this will make the speed limit unlawful and unenforceable.

"As mentioned above it may seem to be an illogical step to be removing speed limit repeater signs but in order to carry out lawful enforcement it will be necessary to do so," he said.

Four of the six sets of 30mph signs have now been removed, between the junction with Dark Lane and the bridge over the River Teme.

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