MOTORISTS fined for 'speeding' when they weren't breaking the law are being advised to challenge a police decision not to reimburse them.

An unknown number of drivers have been fined and given points after being caught over an incorrectly imposed 30mph speed limit on the A378 at Fivehead.

The Traffic Regulation Order (TPO) drawn up to drop the limit from 40mph in 2015 wrongly named the road Church Road.

When the gaffe was noticed recently by a friend of a motorist hit with a fixed penalty, police cancelled all outstanding tickets and temporarily stopped enforcing speed limits there.

But they refuse to do anything about fixed penalties or court fines already paid or remove penalty points.

Some motorists could conceivably have lost their jobs if they went over 12 points and most will have had higher insurance premiums.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: "We took legal advice on fixed penalty notices or court cases which have been completed and won't be reimbursing any fines."

Pensioner Ernest Lear, 85, had a £100 fine and three points for driving over 30mph on the road.

He said: "£100 is a lot of money for me. I get £140 a week, so I've had to cut back.

"After hearing about the error, I contacted the police, who insist they won't reimburse me.

"It's wrong because an error was made. They're treating people differently - some don't have to pay, but they won't give me my money back."

He cited a similar case on the A35 at Chideock, West Dorset, when Duck Street was incorrectly called Seatown Road on a TRO.

After a judge ruled the "defective" 30mph speed limit unenforceable, Dorset Road Safety partners refunded 24,0458 motorists fined between 1997 and 2007 at a cost of £1.8 million.

Referring to the Fivehead case, a Taunton lawyer said: "I see no reason why the police cannot revoke the fixed penalties administratively.

"If they refuse that may possibly be regarded as unreasonable and subject to judicial review proceedings which could compel them to do so.

"For those who appeared in court, if they pleaded not guilty the easiest route would be to apply to the magistrates’ court to re-open the conviction, which hopefully the prosecution wouldn't oppose, and they could then drop the case. The alternative would be to apply to the crown court for permission to appeal out of time.

"For those who pleaded guilty, they could go down the re-opening route and if that failed could ask the Criminal Cases Review Commission to get involved on the basis that events subsequent to sentence suggest it was entered on a false basis."