Motorists have been left in a spin after 20mph signs began appearing in central Brighton and Hove – months before the new restrictions come into force.
The 20mph restrictions are set to be introduced in more than 500 streets across Brighton and Hove city centre in early April.
However, two months before the limits “go live”, highways crews are already painting signs on the affected streets.
Motorists have branded the decision “stupid” as they are left in two minds as to what speed they must travel at.
Motorist lobbyist Steve Percy, who sits on the city’s transport partnership, said: “How stupid – it’s not thoughtful.
“They may as well paint an ice cream on the road so we can all ask when the free ice cream is coming.”
Councillors gave the go-ahead to the 20mph proposal covering shopping and residential streets last month.
The local authority claims the move will improve road safety and air quality while making the city a better place to live, work in and visit.
The seven-kilometre area in the first phase stretches from Sackville Road, Hove in the west to Freshfield Road, Brighton, in the east.
The northern boundary will be Old Shoreham Road and New England Road.
Among the first signs to be painted was at the junction of Kingsway and Grand Avenue, Hove.
Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “We raised concerns at the time over the implementation of this scheme and the council should have published a start date for which the whole scheme goes live.”
A council spokeswoman said: “The council is starting to put up signs for the 20mph scheme this week.
30mph in force
“It is expected that it will take around four weeks for all the signage and road markings to be installed, weather permitting.
“Until the scheme goes ‘live’, the existing 30mph limit will continue to be in force.”
After the first phase, 20mph limits are set to be rolled out across the city over the next two to three years.
Consultations will be held on each part of the programme ahead of it being introduced.
The overall project budget is £1.5 million spread over three to four years.
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