I commented previously on the use of PCNs to enforce 20 mph speed limits on certain roads in the London Borough of Wandsworth – see links below. After exchanging numerous emails with the Council and looking into the relevant Acts of Parliament I have come to the conclusion that they have no proper legal grounds for issuing PCNs in these circumstances.
They claim to have taken two legal reviews which supports their stance. But why two? Did the first one not give the right answers?
After my last question to them they simply said “It would appear we are at an impasse, legal advice is privilege information and I have nothing further to add at this time”, i.e. they seem to be stumped for an answer.
Our advice to anyone who receives a PCN for exceeding a 20-mph speed limit in Wandsworth is to challenge it and take it to appeal to London Tribunals.
We are considering a wider legal challenge and if anyone would like to assist with that please contact me (tel: 020-8295-0378 during office hours).
The Council claims to be relying on the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003. (LLA &TfL Act 2003) and the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. (RTR Act 84). Specifically Section 4(5)(a) of the LLA&TfL Act 2003 that allows for Penalty Charge Notices to be issued for contravening a Prescribed Order. I pointed out that a prescribed order can only apply where there is a contravention of a traffic sign listed in Schedule 3 of the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003. There is no 20 mph sign limit listed in Schedule 3. And Section 4(6)(a) says: “No penalty charge shall be payable under subsection (5)(a) above where—(a) the person acting in contravention of the prescribed order also fails to comply with an indication given by a scheduled section 36 traffic sign; or….”. They also claimed support of Section 84 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 which specifically refers to “Speed limits on roads other than restricted roads” so only applies to non-restricted roads. The roads under discussion are almost certainly “restricted roads”.
The legislation in this area is exceedingly complex and difficult to understand but I believe they have simply misinterpreted it in their enthusiasm to raise money from drivers who might not challenge PCNs.
20 Mph speed limits may be enforceable by the police but Councils have no authority to issue PCNs for breaches of 20 mph limits in our view.
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