Plymouth taxi driver caught speeding three times, in one morning, on same road
A TAXI driver could be facing suspension after he was caught speeding three times in one morning – on the same road.
But angry dad-of-four Dean Gillard has blamed the council for landing him in "a chaotic pile of mess" by lowering the speed limit along Gdynia Way.
The 40-year-old, who has been a cabbie for nearly two decades, had a clean driving licence until being clocked speeding along the busy city centre route three times in just over four hours.
He has complained that there is not a single road sign along the stretch advising drivers of the 30mph limit.
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And until last year's multi-million-pound East End roadworks, Gdynia Way had been a 40mph zone.
Gillard, who was in the dock at Plymouth Magistrates' Court yesterday to admit the speeding offences, now has nine penalty points to his name.
It means he could be forced to convince council licensing officers not to confiscate his badge.
"I've been taxiing here for 18 years and as far as I'm concerned it's always been 40mph," he said.
"There was no warning at all and no 30mph signs when you're coming up Gdynia Way from Plymstock.
"The only sign is when you're coming back from Plympton.
"It seems to me like they're just out to make money from people.
"It's clear from the speeds I was doing that I thought I was sticking to the speed limit. I'm not a boy-racer.
"But I've now gone from having a clean licence to having nine points in a single morning."
The court heard how Gillard had been clocked by 'average speed check' cameras three times in the early hours of December 18 last year.
He was behind the wheel of a colleague's Renault Laguna when it was recorded as breaking the speed limit at 2.28am, 5.38am and 6.30am.
The court heard how Gillard was driving at between 38mph and 41mph.
The Excel Cabs driver told magistrates he would lose his job if his license was revoked.
"I genuinely believed the road was 40mph," he told the court. "I didn't know it had changed."
But Gillard was told by the bench: "If there are no speed signs, assume it is 30mph."
The debacle has seen Gillard hit with £150 in fines, £60 in court costs and £30 in victim surcharges – all of which must be paid within 28 days.
But he is more concerned about facing Plymouth City Council's taxi licensing committee, which could decide not to renew his licence when it runs out in September.
"I'll probably have to go before the committee to explain why I've suddenly got so many points," added Gillard, of Greatlands Place in North Prospect.
"They could suspend me for this, perhaps for 28 days.
"I have a young family to support including a one-year-old daughter, and how am I supposed to earn money if I can't work?
"In my eyes this is just wrong. It's just a chaotic pile of mess."
Gillard is not the only motorist to have fallen foul of the speed limit change in Gdynia Way.
A van driver told The Herald he received his first speeding ticket in 46 years of driving after being clocked doing 39mph on the same stretch.
The Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership, which operates speed cameras across the city, said it was unable to reveal how many people had been issued with speeding tickets since the new limit came in because figures are only compiled once a year.
But a council spokeswoman said: "Gdynia Way has now been a 30mph speed limit since last November when it opened.
"When the speed limit changed from 40mph appropriate signs were put up on the road.
"The Highway Code states that in areas of street lighting the speed limit is 30mph unless another limit is specifically signed."