I was caught speeding with one of the signs graffitied, can I appeal?

I was caught speeding at 37 mph on the A40 in London, where the speed limit changes from 40 mph to 30 mph. I was driving in the rightmost lane around midnight. The 30 mph speed limit sign on the central barrier next to my lane was graffitied over and obscured. I did not see the non-graffitied 30 mph sign on the left due to a vehicle blocking my view. I assumed the speed limit was still 40 mph based on the obscured sign and previous signs. TFL Streetcare has photo evidence that the 30 mph sign was graffitied/obscured before my alleged offense. TFL confirmed in writing that this sign is frequently targeted by vandals. I have a completely clean driving record and drive extremely cautiously with limiters on. I would have absolutely slowed to 30 mph if the signage was legible. I was offered a £100 speeding awareness course, which is difficult for me as a PhD student on a stipend. Given the obscured signage, my driving record, and willingness to follow limits, I am considering pleading not guilty.

Asked on 7 June 2024 by shloak mehta

Answered by David Ross
It is possible that you could challenge the fine, but there are no guarantees that you would be successful, and if the challenge was rejected you would lose the opportunity to take a speed awareness course. We would expect three points and a fine to be awarded if it was rejected, which would likely exceed the cost of the speed awareness course and would also have a knock-on effect on your insurance premiums. If you were to challenge the fine we would also suggest seeking independent legal advice, so it would be worth considering all the options available to you and the potential costs involved before making a decision.
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