“Dedicated to justice and

Road Safety”


Richard Bentley:



On Friday 22nd April 2016, what has been accepted as being the fundamental basis of motoring law in the United Kingdom will change beyond all recognition.

The changes, widely unknown apply to the whole of the UK including Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The duties imposed upon a highway authority to place ‘traffic signs’  on highways to indicate the affect of any speed limit Order have been revoked.

There is no longer any requirement (in law) for any highway authority, including the Secretary of State, to place traffic signs (terminal signs) at the points at which any limit of speed begins, or ends.

In addition, there is no longer any requirement (in law) for a highway authority to place any speed limit repeater signing along the length of any road subject to an applied limit of speed.

There is no requirement for a highway authority to place any speed limit zonal signing at the entry points of any speed limit ‘zone’.

In addition, and relevant to 20 mph zones, if no ‘zone’  entry signs are provided there is no requirement to place even one traffic calming feature.

If authorities choose not to provide costly signing and traffic calming in zonal restrictions, it will be impossible for  a driver to establish whether a lit road is subject to a 30 or 20 mph limit until the NIP / Summons is delivered.

Without doubt, the absence of anything to induce lower speed or indicate the presence of a restriction will result in massive increases in driver awareness training, the distribution of fixed penalty tickets, court hearings and the number of drivers inadvertently subject to mandatory disqualification.

In its draft ‘Circular the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2015’ the Department for Transport recommends that authorities should consider the guidance given in the departments Chapter 3, the Traffic Signs Manual to avoid unnecessary challenges in the courts.

It is believed the guidance does not say signing should be provided to promote road safety and reduce collisions.

Signing guidance is not in any way mandatory and, in the absence of ‘adequate guidance’, or any signing at all, no one yet knows how the Courts will react to any not guilty plea or suggestion of special reasons not to apply a penalty point or fine.

RMB Consulting is aware that blanket 20 mph limits/zones are to be introduced across wide swathes of the UK.

In the absence of terminal signing, on lit or any other roads, it will be impossible to ascertain what level of speed has been imposed.

We are aware that the increase in zonal restrictions of some may consider exceedingly low speeds are to be rigorously enforced and additional capacity in driver awareness training is being ramped up.

The changes are being created to unfetter local government.

Given the current failings to sign in compliance with statutory requirements, one has to ask what incentive there will be for any authority to expend vast amounts of money on rigorous safety audits and the erection of signing that Parliament now informs them is but optional.

RMB Consulting considers the blinding of the motorist to applied restrictions and removal of safety features will, contrary to Government suggestions, do nothing to improve road safety, unless of course the overall intent is to reduce congestion by removing vast swaths of drivers from the road by way of disqualification.