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Officer Decisions

Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste - D Whitton

Summary of Matter or Issue Requiring Decision:

To appeal against the decision of his Honour Judge Cotter QC on a 2014 traffic regulation order (TRO) in the Devon town of Totnes.


Decision Taken:

I approve.

As the case progresses, the risks and benefits will be kept under review.

Summary of Reason(s) for Decision Taken:

His honour Judge Cotter heard an application by Sustainable Totnes Action Group to quash the decision of the South Hams HATOC on the implementation of a TRO.

Judge Cotter’s decision was to quash the TRO.

Based on legal advice, there are three compelling reasons why the appeal should be heard:

  1. The applicant questioning the decision on the TRO was not a valid person within the meaning of the Road Traffic Act.
  2. That the effect of the TRO was not to “restrict” the passage of Bob the Bus along a road.
  3. That the County Council’s failure to make express reference to section 122 of the Act does not constitute a failure to discharge its duties.

The points upon which the appeal is made are of general interest to all TROs across the country.

The decision was made following consultation with appropriate persons.

Summary of Alternatives or Options considered and rejected:

The alternative not to appeal was rejected:

  • following the decision of the Judge, there has been significant correspondence for and against appealing the decision.
  • The decision in relation to section 122 is at odds with a previous judgement.
  • the legal advice is that the judgement on the TRO is wrong.
Details of any conflict of interest and dispensation granted to the Officer taking the decision or by any Member of the Council in delegating responsibility for any specific express delegation:


Contact for enquiries/further information:
David Whitton
Decision Date:
6 May 2015

A copy of this decision and any supporting documentation considered by the Officer taking this decision may also be made available or inspection by the public at the Council’s Offices or posted upon payment of any copying and postage charges. Any member of the public wishing to take up either of these options is asked to please ring 01392 382888 or email: