Motorists to have their fines and points revoked after A38 speed camera's signs deemed "illegal"
HUNDREDS of motorists caught out by a speed camera positioned at the Berkeley Rail Bridge on the A38 are to have any points given rescinded and fine money paid back to them after it was found the related signage was illegal.
Following readers’ complaints about the camera’s position and the inadequate signs leading up to it, the Gazette took up the inquiry to investigate its legality.
In response to the paper’s enquires, Gloucestershire Police said on Tuesday, November 19 it had been assured by Gloucestershire Highways that the signs were incompliance with regulations.
However, on Thursday, November 26 Gloucestershire Police called the Gazette to say that the signs had been found to be incorrect and therefore “illegal”.
Because the incorrect signs were used to inform drivers of the change from a 50mph zone to a 30mph zone northbound on the A38, any actions taken against the drivers was not legally enforceable.
Letters have now been sent out to all 503 wronged commuters to say their fines have been repaid and the points on their licenses revoked.
Gloucestershire Police spokesman Simon Masters confirmed that using the sign, which had the new 30mph limit surrounded by a black border to inform drivers of the speed reduction was illegal.
“We have had to take this on the chin but it is a Gloucestershire Highways issue because they put the sign up. They made the sign and they asked for the speed limit,” he said.
“There will be 503 very relieved people out there who will get their fines paid back and the points taken back off their licence.”
The signs and barriers narrowing the bridge were put out on Monday, October 14, with speed camera enforcement taking place from Wednesday, October 23.
The temporary speed reduction has been put in place to avoid further deterioration of the steel-truss bridge, which will eventually be replaced.
A Gloucestershire Highways spokesman said a weight restriction was not an option because of the importance of the route for goods vehicles travelling through the county.
“We’ve been made aware of the fact that the signs on the approach to the bridge have a small technical fault and they will be replaced as soon as possible,” he said.
“This is important work to protect the structure of Berkeley Rail Bridge and we’ve put a 30mph restriction in place to try and prevent further deterioration until the bridge can be fully replaced. We would therefore urge drivers to continue to keep to the speed limit.”
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