Speed limits not enforceable on village roads

Barley Speed Limit

Barley Speed Limit - Credit: Archant

The mistake in the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) covering Barley meant that drivers caught speeding in the village could not be prosecuted.

Hertfordshire County Council’s (HCC) highways department has now put a temporary TRO in place to immediately correct the error, and is checking others around the county amid fears that the problem could be widespread.

Jerry Carlisle, chairman of Barley Parish Council, said: “Quite clearly we are very upset about this. We do have a problem with speeding in the village, so to find out the speed limit has not been enforceable is worrying to say the least.”

Mr Carlisle said the parish council only discovered the error when making enquiries with police officers about the village’s volunteer-run Community Speed Watch scheme.

He added: “We are asking a few questions, because it seems this problem goes back a few years. What we want to know is how long people have known about this, and why we weren’t informed.”

Terry Douris, cabinet member for highways at Herts County Council, said: “We are currently reviewing all our speed limit paperwork. We are looking into a number of areas across the county where discrepancies may exist with some traffic regulation orders.

“This process is aimed at ensuring a more robust traffic order is in place and it should not be assumed the orders involved were or are unenforceable. This work is ongoing and if we discover an issue with a location, we will take the legal steps to ensure no discrepancies remain.

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“We are looking into a number of areas across the county – including Barley – where discrepancies may exist with some traffic regulation orders. Having looked into this in detail now, this does not automatically mean they are unenforceable. If we discover there is an issue with a location we will then take the legal steps to ensure that these speed limits are enforceable.”

A spokesman for Hertfordshire police said: “We have been made aware by HCC that a number of sections of road in the county are possibly subject to incorrect traffic regulation orders. We are supporting HCC in their resolution of this issue.

“We would remind all motorists they should always drive safely and mindful of the road conditions and Hertfordshire Constabulary will respond against people who drive in a dangerous or irresponsible manner.

“The police have various powers in addition to those specifically relating to speeding which will be used appropriately and proportionately to tackle anti-social driving.”