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Legal update November 2019 on VAS signs


It is NALC's (Legal teams) view that three specific powers (s.274A Highways Act 1980, s. 72 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and s.31 Local Government and Rating Act 1997) are not powers that enable the provision of signs for traffic calming purposes by local councils, NALC have been asked about general powers.

It is NALC's view that the general power of competence will not assist local councils as it is a power that enables a local authority to do anything individuals generally may do. Individuals cannot provide speed signs.

In the absence of a specific power the normal route is to consider s.137 of the Local Government Act 1972. S.137(2) specifically allows a council to contribute towards the costs of another local authority's functions - as such a contribution could be made to a highway authority's costs in respect of such speed signs. S.137 (1) is subject to existing statutory limitations and prohibitions, such as the three powers referred to above. Whether it could be used outside of those powers would depend on the specific circumstances. The same goes for the power of wellbeing in Wales, which of course is subject to the s.137 spending limits.

Another possibility would be for a highway authority to delegate its function to a local under s.101 of the 1972 Act.

Posted: Thu, 28 Nov 2019 08:16 by Alison Robinson

Tags: NALC, National Association for Local Councils, News, compliance, legal, speeding