Driver 'could lose job' after travelling nearly 30mph above speed limit on A20 due to 'inadequate' signage

Scott Paczensky is scared he could lose his job if he gets a six month ban for speeding (Scott Paczensky)
Scott Paczensky is scared he could lose his job if he gets a six month ban for speeding (Scott Paczensky)

A driver who was caught travelling nearly 30mph above the speed limit due to “inadequate” signage on the A20 has warned he could lose his job and be banned from driving.

Transport for London (TfL) introduced a 40mph limit along a stretch of the key route near Sidcup in October following concerns over water flooding the road.

But thousands of speeding tickets are believed to have been issued due to the changes not being properly signposted and a rogue 50mph sign placed on the route, drivers have claimed.

Safety consultant Scott Paczensky, 45, has said the speed limit remained at 70mph on his SatNav when he drove along the route meaning he was unaware that he was travelling well above the suggested speed.

He was caught speeding on the A20 four times, once at 68mph, in February and March and could now face a six month ban when he appears in court.

Mr Paczensky told the Standard that he could lose his job if he is handed a ban and it could become extremely difficult for him to travel to see his 75-year-old father, who is recovering from cancer.

He said: “I could have had an endless number of speeding tickets. In my view I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was just sticking to the SatNav.

"It’s just ridiculous. I could be banned because of this, it's completely and utterly wrong.

“Something has to be done. There are going to be people losing their licences.”

As part of his job Mr Paczensky often drives across Britain as well as travelling abroad.

He is the closest family member in distance to his father Terry Paczensky and regularly drives 20 minutes from his home in Maidstone to make sure he is okay.

He continued: “There is a good chance I probably won’t keep my job. It’s weighing on my mind.

“They could ban me for a month. I think I could get longer - and still 10 points on my licence.

“That will still ruin me. The insurance premiums will go up.”

Mr Paczensky is also concerned about how the stress of potentially losing his licence will impact his heath.

He suffered a stroke four years ago and is concerned about how the extra worry is affecting him.

He added: “It’s been weighing on me. I hope nothing happens. It’s always on my mind. This does not help.”

He is currently waiting for a court date after receiving letters about the speeding offences.

As many as 62,000 fines are thought to have been issued along the stretch of the A20 since mid-December, according to one legal executive, though police have not been able to confirm the figure.

Dominic Smith, director at traffic solicitors firm Patterson Law, has been calling for the fines to be overturned.

He explained the 40mph signs were "small", while a "rogue 50mph sign" placed on the stretch also misled drivers.

Mr Smith previously told the Standard he has been inundated with messages from drivers who feel they have been wrongly fined.

He added that some drivers have unwittingly sped through the stretch "eight, nine, or 10 times" before realising the speed limit had been changed to 40mph.

One driver, Jamie Foster, has already been handed a 28 day driving ban after travelling above the 40mph limit on the road.

His mother Shirley previously said: “Jamie's had a clean licence as a lot of people have. It was inadequate signage, that's what we've said all along - that was the mitigation.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson previously said: "On January 24 we were informed that a 50mph sign had been placed on a section of the eastbound A20 in Sidcup where the speed limit had recently been reduced to 40mph. The sign has been removed.

"We have confirmed that it was not placed there by the Met or Transport for London and we are investigating this as an attempt to pervert the course of justice."

Transport for London (TfL) has said the rogue 50mph sign was put up by a third party and that the signage in the area had since been improved.

TfL and the Met Police have been contacted for further comment.