Case File 17
Mr. J., Warrington
Thanks for such an informative site. Together with the ABD's site you have just saved my son from prosecution and lost license and lost job.
I read your site in detail and used the link to source a response to my son's charges against a speeding charge and as a result the Crown offered no evidence when he appeared for trial, and after my son pleaded not guilty. We had written to the CPS with our defence and pointed out the errors below.
The case involved the new junction on the M62(J8) the road going into Warrington. The road from Burtonwood to Warrington (Burtonwood road) crosses the new junction 8 and at the start of the restriction there are 4 signs at the junction (Burtonwood road/Tanhouse lane), two are lit and the 2 speed restrictions at the same junction aren't.
A sign at the beginning or end of a speed limit must be positively illuminated, i.e. it must not rely solely on the use of reflective material, if the sign is within 50 metres of a street lamp.
If there is no illumination on the signage at the start of the restriction then the local authority has failed to erect & maintain the signage correctly.
If the signs are in the wrong place. The local authority has failed to erect & maintain the signage correctly.
The phrase 'erect and maintain' is very significant. It is not enough for speed limit signs to be installed correctly in the first place if they then disappear, become damaged or illegible, or are obscured from view, for example by foliage that is not trimmed back. Subsection (4) makes it clear that drivers cannot be convicted of speeding if the signing requirements of subsections (1) and (2) are not met.
The signs may be illuminated, either internally or externally, even if they are not required to be under item 10, but if they are illuminated then all signs at the same location must be illuminated in the same way. All speed limit signs that are not illuminated must be made of reflective material.
By the above, the 40 signs (all signs) at the junction of Burtonwood Road and Tanhouse Lane should have been illuminated, they still are not illuminated.
Therefore the speed limit of 40 mph along Burtonwood road in the Warrington direction cannot be enforced.
Extract to CPS
"My case is that the speed limit of 40 mph was/is un-enforceable, and attached is my case for dismissal of these charges. Set out in words, photographs and maps.
The first signage visible approaching from Burtonwood, is at the junction of Burtonwood Road and Tanhouse Lane. At this junction there is a collection of signs and lights. There are 2 signs on Tanhouse Lane; they are illuminated on both sides as required. Within 10 metres there is a streetlight which is fully functioning. However, the 40 signs at the same junction on Burtonwood Road are not illuminated as required by the TSRGD & The Road Traffic Act 1984. There is also no signage for in excess of 500 metres from the last sign (150mm) on the Burtonwood side of J8/M62 and the next sign (150mm) on Burtonwood Road after J8/M62.
The stretch of Burtonwood Road the police say they followed me along is initially a dual carriageway (for over 200 yards) that does not have a sign on both sides of the road until 200 yards from the J8/M62 (150mm repeater). This stretch of Burtonwood Road is signed at the J8/M62 as A574. No speed signs on the start of the dual carriageway of Burtonwood Road or on the bridges.
At the start of Burtonwood Road from Warrington direction there are 2x40 signs illuminated on both sides as required. Not so coming from the following direction. Same road.
I was driving at night and the sign at Burtonwood Road Tanhouse Lane is not "properly maintained or erected" as required by the TSRGD. There is inadequate/irregular signing from the same junction up to the Kingswood Road/ Burtonwood Road junction."
The repeater signs are not spaced regularly, just conveniently for the local council. First one is 200 yards, second one is 500 yards, third one is 300 yards.
Thus the siting and maintenance of the signs meant that the prosecution had to fail on the grounds that the speed limit was unenforceable.
Be aware though that going from Warrington to Burtonwood on the Burtonwood road that the signs are correctly sited, as are signs if you are coming off the motorway itself. But, you then you would probably have been coming from Burtonwood, wouldn't you?
Many thanks for such an valuable resource.
Since then the car my son was stopped in for speeding has been stopped every evening for the past 2 weeks by the police.
No problem really as he sold the car prior to the court appearance.
A win-win situation.