A city taxi driver has uncovered a speed limit bungle after launching his own investigation.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request revealed that speed limits on two busy stretches of road in Lancaster and Bolton-le-Sands cannot legally be enforced.
In the last three years the speed limit between Town End traffic lights and the old police station on the A6, Bolton-le-Sands, has been reduced from 40mph to 30mph.
A reduction in the speed limit from 50mph to 40mph has also been introduced on a stretch of the A6 in Scotforth Road near to Lancaster University.
But Lancashire County Council has admitted that the speed limits are unenforceable because traffic regulation orders, the legal orders needed to enforce the speed limit, have not been put in place.
Police have now stopped enforcement activity in both areas, and the situation has raised questions as to whether drivers have been penalised illegally in the past.
Andy Kay, chair of the Lancaster and District Hackney Drivers Association, said he was aware of other roads with unenforceable speed limits, due to him updating his satellite navigation system and discovering the original limits were still shown.
Mr Kay, who put in an FOI to Lancashire County Council after becoming suspicious, said: “Some speed restrictions in Lancaster are unenforceable, so now we don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong. They’re a nonsense, and cannot be trusted.
“There’s a real human side to this as well.
“We’ve got a driver that is now on nine points and he runs the risk of losing his badge and his livelihood because he was doing 52mph going up to the university.
“It would only be 2mph over the legal limit on that stretch and therefore not enough for them to issue a ticket.
“This raises the question as to how many other drivers have been dealt with for speeding when a legal order hasn’t been in place.”
A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: “As soon as we identified there was a problem we suspended enforcement activity on these stretches of road until the issues have been resolved.
“However if we receive any reports of inconsiderate or dangerous driving we will take action.”
Paul Binks, road and transport safety manager at Lancashire County Council said: “These speed limits have been changed within the last three years and the signing in place makes it clear what the new speed limit is.
“We’re aware that the legal process supporting the new signing and enforcement needs to be completed and are working to ensure this is done as soon as possible.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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