The Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) prohibiting car cruising has a major flaw that prevents lawful enforcement.
Regulations under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014 state that there should be sufficient signage in the area of the PSPO to draw attention to those using the area, setting out the effect of the Order. The Order must also be published on the Council’s website. The signage in the area does not necessarily need to set out all the provisions of the Order, but rather state where this information can be found.
Signage for the PSPO is displayed on the highway (the highway includes the road, footpath and grass verge).
As the signage is not permitted signage within the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 (TSRGD2016), no enforcement can take place. This is because the signs cannot be displayed on the highway, but sufficient signage must be displayed for all PSPOs.
Please see SBC – Car Cruising PSPO
Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016
The purpose of the TSRGD2016 is to ensure that all signage on the highway delivers an unambiguous and speedily understood message for obvious reasons.
Every sign on the highway must be contained in the TSRGD2016 or be approved by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State cannot approve any signage that does not deliver an unambiguous and speedily understood message.
Overexuberant Local Authorities
Local Authorities, including SBC, have become overexuberant in their use of PSPOs. They regularly fail to remember the intention of Parliament when they passed legislation that permitted the introduction of PSPOs.
They are orders to protect public spaces like children’s play areas and parks, not the highway. Hence the name. The TSRGD2016 does not apply to children’s play areas and parks.
Complaint – Action Required
I have registered a formal complaint with SBC for erecting unpermitted signage on the public highway and requested the removal of such signage at the earliest opportunity.
In addition, SBC must reimburse any Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) issued and cease the issuing of FPN for the PSPO as to do so would be a fraud.
The TSRGD2016 make all PSPO that apply to the highway unenforceable.