Brand new speed limit signs are not legal – and must be painted over

Bungling council workers had to deface more than 50 new speed limit signs after they were erected too early.

The signposts were put up last week in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, after it was decided to impose a new 20mph speed restriction on the residential road.

But a public consultation to hear residents and traders views on the proposal was not due to end until Wednesday, April 17, Grimsby Live says.

And residents were furious to see the signs appear.

Officials from North East Lincolnshire Council quickly daubed grey spray paint on the signs.

Some of the signs have the total face covered over, while others just have the wording under the speed limit scrawled out in paint.

The hurried defacing of new signs was carried out on Wednesday evening by staff from Engie which is North East Lincolnshire Council's working partner.

Any potential speed restrictions cannot be enforced until Wednesday, April 17 at the earliest under the terms of a notice of intent published by the authority on March 28.

An Engie spokesman told Grimsby Live: "Engie would like to apologise to residents for the errors we have made on the Littlefield Lane road safety improvement scheme and any inconvenience caused.

"Costs for any remedial works required will be met by Engie."

No date for the final enforcement of the new speed limit has been announced. This depends on when the statutory consultation period ends and any objections received have been reviewed.

Councillors may have to wait until after the elections on May 2 to begin assessing the objections before deciding whether to have a further study of the road's safety record.

It could then go to a scrutiny panel, before cabinet members recommend approval.

Speaking after they'd noticed the signs appear, residents told Grimsby Live of their shock.

"If we lose our parking the side streets are going to become chaos because everyone will have to park in them," one said.

A takeaway owner added: "What a complete waste of money. I watched them putting up the signs. Then they paint the signs while we were open. We just do not know what is going on and it doesn't look like the council know either.

"We have concerns about the bins outside not being emptied often enough, which doesn't look good outside and takeaway. But no one at the council seems to bother about that."

A spokesman for North East Lincolnshire Council, which currently has no overall political control, said: "Residents and visitors are able to still park on street, in accordance with the waiting restrictions present.

"Speed cameras were considered, however they would not be suitable at this location."

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