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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Jacob Phillips

Driver avoids six-month ban over 'inadequate' 50mph road sign on A20 in Sidcup

A driver who racked up 12 penalty points within a week due to “inadequate” signage that showed the wrong speed limit has avoided a six-month ban, a court has heard.

Transport for London (TfL) has introduced a 40mph limit along part of the eastbound A20 near Sidcup in October, due to concerns over water flooding the road.

But thousands of speeding tickets are believed to have been issued due to a rogue 50mph sign along the road.

Bromley magistrates banned Jamie Foster from driving for 28 days due to the issue.

The 27-year-old sales consultant is now having to rely on his mother and partner to drop him at work as he fears he could lose his job.

He told the Standard: “It’s just a little bit unfortunate. It’s a kick in the teeth.

“I have lost my reputation. I have lost my dignity. I have to take it on the chin. I want to drive so badly.”

Mr Foster's mother Shirley, from Kent, added: “What would happen if he couldn’t drive to work. He could lose his job. They don’t seem to care.“64,000 tickets have gone out. The [drivers] can not all be wrong. If you thought the limit was 40mph you would not go along any faster.”

The 66-year-old also told the BBC: "Jamie's had a clean licence as a lot of people have.

“It was inadequate signage, that's what we've said all along - that was the mitigation."

The pair explained they had spoken to one driver in a similar situation that had received 11 speeding tickets in a day on the same stretch of road.

Transport for London (TfL) has said the rogue 50mph sign was put up by a third party and that the signage had since been improved.

Dominic Smith believes around 62,000 fines have been issued along the road since mid-December (Dominic Smith)

Chartered legal executive Dominic Smith, director at traffic solicitors firm Patterson Law, has been calling for the fines to be overturned.

He explained the 40mph signs were "small", while a "rogue 50mph sign" placed on the stretch also misled drivers.

Mr Smith told the Standard he has been inundated with messages from drivers who feel they have been wrongly fined.

He understands around 62,000 fines have been issued along the stretch of road since mid-December, though police have not been able to confirm the figure.

He added that some drivers have unwittingly sped through the stretch "eight, nine, or 10 times" before realising the speed limit had been changed to 40mph.

Road users of the A20, eastbound between Sandy Lane and Cookham Lane, said the problems began last autumn when the speed limit was reduced from 70mph to 40mph.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson previously said: "On January 24 we were informed that a 50mph sign had been placed on a section of the eastbound A20 in Sidcup where the speed limit had recently been reduced to 40mph. The sign has been removed.

"We have confirmed that it was not placed there by the Met or Transport for London and we are investigating this as an attempt to pervert the course of justice."

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