A few weeks ago I came across yet another sign that had been placed needlessly on a pavement. I asked the workmen to move it into the coned-off layby. They told me that they couldn’t move it because it had been put there by a subcontractor and that it would be illegal for them or me to move it. To be honest I didn’t believe them and moved it anyway. I have since spotted the law they were referring to which states: “If a person without lawful authority or excuse—(a) takes down, alters or removes any fence, barrier, traffic sign or light erected or placed in pursuance of subsection (1) or (2) above, or (b) extinguishes a light so placed, he commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.” New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (section 65). Level 3 on the standard scale is currently £1,000! Here is the sign before and after I committed the offense!
I did however also spot one useful clause in the official manual which tells contractors where to place all their cones and signs which states very clearly that “in no circumstances must the width of the footway be reduced to less than 1m, preferably not less than 1.5m” (chapter 8 clause D4.4.1). I will continue to move signs where this rule is being broken but will probably refrain from moving signs otherwise in future!