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Longfield Avenue: Motorist wins refund of Ealing 'no right turn' fine after sign lighting doubts

Ealing Council has been ordered to refund a motorist the £130 it fined for turning right into a road in Ealing

A man has won an appeal against a controversial turning ban in Ealing after it was ruled a sign was not sufficiently illuminated in darkness.

Dr Pankaj Sharma was fined £130 by Ealing Council when he turned right into Longfield Avenue from Uxbridge Road in February.

The victory comes after the council began fining motorists for the ban, which includes turning left into Uxbridge Road from Longfield Avenue, from July 4 last year.

Dr Sharma appealed the fine on the grounds a sign, on the left approaching the Longfield Avenue junction, was not sufficiently lit at 7.27pm.

A sign positioned to the left of Longfield Avenue was deemed to have been insufficiently lit in darkness

He won his appeal on April 25, after a tribunal agreed the sign was not visible enough.

Adjudicator Edward Houghton said: "The turn, however, was executed during the hours of darkness when the sign must be illuminated - something that is of particular importance where there is only a single sign.

"Although I note the sign has provision for external illumination I am unable to be satisfied on the evidence that the sign was correctly illuminated and the appeal falls to be allowed on this ground alone."

On March 30 Getwestlondon revealed the council pocketed £970,000 in fines since the turning ban was introduced.

The trial was initially set to end towards the end of last year, before the council performed a U-turn and extended it for another six months.

Commenting on Dr Sharma's successful appeal, a council spokesman said: "The sign in question is fully illuminated in line with regulations and we are writing to the adjudicator to make them aware of this.

"Adjudicators can and do make different decisions on the same junction and as a result no one case sets a precedent.

"This trial was introduced with the aim of improving road safety and will be reviewed once it is completed next month."

Dr Sharma accused the turning ban of being a money-making initiative for the council.

He said: "I appreciate the council does not have enough money.

"It is not the way to generate revenue. No one buys the argument this is not a money-making scheme.

"No person in Ealing is going to buy that nonsense."

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