Ban for driver who ignored road closure

A man who ignored road closure signs and drove at high speed past a council work-crew has been banned from driving for three and a half years.

In the early hours of Friday 14 July this year Joshua Farrow, 23 and from Weston-super-Mare, twice drove through a road closure on the A370 in Backwell and Flax Bourton where council crews were carrying out drainage and road repairs.

This was reported to Avon and Somerset Police and officers stopped Mr Farrow while he was driving through Weston town centre, when he was found to be over the drink drive alcohol limit.

When he appeared before North Somerset magistrates Court on 8 August, Mr Farrow pleaded guilty to the charge of driving with excess alcohol. He was banned from driving for three and half years, given 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £80 costs.

PC Andre Burgoyne, the investigating officer for Avon and Somerset Police, said: “An offence of this nature would usually result in a 12-month driving ban but in this case his driving through the road closure was taken into consideration, resulting in a much harsher penalty.”

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, deputy leader and executive member with responsibility for highways, said: “Driving through a road closure is completely unacceptable. Just a few months ago we had an incident in Portishead where a worker was seriously injured when someone drove through a closed, coned-off area.

“We all find roadworks frustrating at times but the road signage is there for a reason – to protect the safety of crews who, after all, are working to keep North Somerset’s roads safe to the benefit of all drivers and pedestrians.

“This individual put our crews, contractors and themselves at risk of serious injury or worse. We take the safety of our crews extremely seriously and we will work with police to make sure anyone who puts them at risk in this way faces the consequences.”