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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70185
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Where there is a change of the national speed limit on a motorway

Resolved Question:

Where there is a change of the national speed limit on a motorway e.g. for a average speed check camera zone, how far away from the zone should the new speed signs be positioned to comply with motorway regulations?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is an average speed section monitored by cameras on the M4 Junction 40-42. Westbound there is a sign which states 50 mph 3/4 mile ahead and just after this a sign with a camera and" average speed check". Eastbound at about half mile before the cameras is a sign with a camera and "average speed check", at about 75 yards before the cameras are 50 mph signs painted on the tarmac and mounted on posts on the near side and the central reservation.I was photographed traveling at 63 mph here. I would like to know what the regulation distance is for signs warning of a speed reduction on motorways. There are no other warning signs before this.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Is there a sign upon entry to the zone?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The signs are about 75 yards before the cameras. The zone starts where the signs are.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
are you asking if that is adequate?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I am
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure I can give you good news.
There are only three automatic speed limits in the UK. The first is 30 mph in a restricted zone signed by street lights, the second is 60 mph in a single carriageway without street lights and the third is 70 mph on a motorway. If they want to vary those limits then they need authority from the Department of Transport and they need to erect signs that amount to ‘adequate guidance’ under S85 Road Traffic Act.
'Adequate guidance' has been recently redefined in a case called Peake really to amount to no more than sufficient guidance to alert the reasonably observant motorist to the limit. A sign upon entry is perfectly fine. The old case law did require regular repeater signs when in the reduced area but Peake has seemed to reduce the requirements. All the case law has always accepted though that a sign upon entry is acceptable.
They do not have to advertise it in advance I'm afraid. That is not the way speed limits are advertised in the UK.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
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