A MOTORIST who was caught speeding by a mobile camera says his fine should never have been issued in the first place.

Peter Steadman, 60, was flashed on his way home from a dental surgery in Holmer Green.

Mr Steadman, of Wayside Gardens, Gerrards Cross, paid the fine without complaint.

But when he returned to his dentist's almost a year later he says he discovered an inconsistency which left him astonished.

While one side of the road was clearly signposted with a 30mph speed limit and speed-camera warning signs, the side of the road he was caught on wasn't.

He now believes the mobile camera was wrong to snap him, because it hadn't been given sufficient warning on the approach.

Mr Steadman, who is retired, was travelling down Sawpit Hill towards Holmer Green Road in December 2005 when he was caught by the Thames Valley Police device. He has been in correspondence with the police force since in a bid to clarify the decision to issue a fine.

He said: "I am adamant there was no warning sign. If there was I would have taken my foot off the accelerator. There are 30mph speed limit signs on every part of that road apart from one little stretch and that is where they put the speed camera."

The mobile camera was parked near the road's fitted speed camera on the day of the offence.

But it was pointed in the opposite direction, which is where Mr Steadman was approaching from.

In letters, police told him a camera warning sign is present in Sawpit Hill at the junction with Wycombe Road.

They added that the stretch didn't require speed limit signs anyway as it has street lights - which is an indication of a 30mph zone.

But Mr Steadman, who turned into the street from Wycombe Road, said he never saw a warning sign.

He said: "The whole idea of speed cameras is they are conspicuous so people see them and slow down.

"If you don't make them conspicuous you are not trying to stop accidents - you are trying to raise money."

Police said Mr Steadman was travelling at 40mph in the 30mph zone when he was flashed.

The mobile camera operator insisted he had erected a temporary warning sign that day.

Claire Gourlay, police spokesman, said the speed limit signs were largely unnecessary on the stretch because of street lights.

She said: "In a 30mph zone you don't have to put too much signage up as the street lights take over.

"If it was a 40mph or 50mph zone there would be more signs up."