OAP’s 30mph road sign battle

Geoff Leighton with his homemade 30mph speed sign on Barnsley Road.
Geoff Leighton with his homemade 30mph speed sign on Barnsley Road.
Have your say

A campaigning pensioner made his own speed limit sign after years of battling in vain to get an official version erected outside his home.

Geoff Leighton crafted a 30mph speed sign and placed it directly outside his home on Barnsley Road, Wakefield, in a bid to encourage dangerous drivers to slow down.

The 83-year-old said he has been fighting for an official sign since 2006, when the speed limit was reduced from 40mph to 30mph.

He said: “We take our lives in to our hands every time we pull out of our drive because people fly along here at 60 to 70 miles an hour.

“The last straw came about two weeks ago when a friend was leaving our house and her car was almost written off by a speeding driver.”

Mr Leighton added: “Someone is going to get killed.”

He said there had been many accidents on the road, and he has written countless letters to Wakefield Council to raise his escalating concern about the issue, but nothing has been done.

This week he received a letter from Wakefield Council asking him to remove the sign because it did not have advertising approval.

An enforcement officer turned up at his home on Wednesday asking him to remove it.

Highways enforcement officer John Whitworth said: “The Road Traffic Regulations Act states that if something is on private land, appertaining to highway users, then it has to come down.”

He added: “If the sign were to distract a driver and they had an accident, Mr Leighton could be liable. I sympathise but it is an offence because the sign has not been lawfully erected.”

Bob Taylor, Wakefield Council’s service manager for enforcement, said: “Motorists breaking the speed limit face not only penalties but more importantly they are putting themselves and the lives of others at risk.

“We urge all drivers to be careful and to drive within the legal speed limits.

“We cannot allow unauthorised signs which conflict with legal road notices so we have asked Mr Leighton to remove the sign.”

Sarah Sordy of Mars Petcare in Birstall

Meet the team behind Yorkshire’s petfood powerhouse