MORE than 1,000 speeding motorists have been refunded after a signage blunder invalidated the speed limit.
The stretch of the A27 near Emsworth has undergone major roadworks since the summer as a new service station was built on the westbound carriageway.
Because drivers were not slowing to 50mph, as instructed, the Highways Agency asked the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) to use mobile safety camera vehicles.
But it was revealed the contractor employed by the Highways Agency did not put the signs denoting the speed limit in the right place – invalidating the reduced speed limit.
Phil Henty, operations manager for the SSRP, said: “Although our mobile safety camera team operated in good faith and accordance with instruction, the discovery of an error in the physical placement of the speed limit signage means that we will not be prosecuting any of the approximately 1,500 motorists detected going through the roadworks at over 50mph.
“All motorists affected by this error – even those recorded as driving at over 70mph – will be contacted shortly to advise them that their penalty is being rescinded.”
A Highways Agency spokesperson added: “Safety is a top priority for the Highways Agency.
“A temporary speed limit was in place on the westbound carriageway to keep the A27 safe – for both drivers and the construction team – while a new service area was constructed.
“There was a minor discrepancy relating to the location of the temporary speed limit on the traffic order, which means that the enforcement was invalid and we are working with Sussex Police to resolve this issue.
“However, we encourage all drivers to observe temporary speed limits through road works for their own safety regardless of any enforcement activity.
“It is frustrating that, despite clearly visible signage, some motorists still chose to drive significantly above the indicated limit.”
The roadworks have now been completed.
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