COMMUNITY speedwatch volunteers have complained they don’t catch enough drivers, and their councillor says more discrete permanent signs would help catch more people breaking the limit.

Roger Evans, who represents Longen in Shropshire, asked whether adding a speedwatch notice to a village welcome sign would satisfy the Road Traffic Act requirements.

Andy Champness, the chief executive of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office said a change in the law would be needed.

But fellow Police and Crime Panel member Sebastian Bowen told Cllr Evans the current system was already keeping speeds down, and asked why he would want to change that. PCC John Campion added that “a successful speed enforcement session is catching nobody”.

Cllr Evans said speeding was the biggest issue in his rural ward, and he was often asked what he and the police were doing to combat it.

“When the community speedwatch is put out, there has to be notices at the start and the finish of the village,” he said.

“People see it, slow down, the effectiveness is much reduced.

“The volunteers say ‘It’s not good. People don’t speed. I can’t find them because they see these signs’.

“Other parts of the country have these signs on the village sign that say ‘This is a community speedwatch area’ and I understood that this would satisfy all the legal requirements because it’s the same as the camera, if there’s a speed camera we just put a sign out.

“I’m not saying the people using it should hide. They’re on the roadside doing it, so they’re visible, but instead of having the big placard and the triangle and the roadside pathway sign, to put it at the entrance at the village to say ‘Watch your speed’.

“Have it up 24 hours a day, and it would be far far more effective.”

Cllr Evans said he had asked Chief Constable Anthony Bangham about this at a previous meeting but had not received an answer.

Mr Campion said Mr Champness would find out what happened to his inquiry, and added: “My overall comment would be that a successful speed enforcement session is catching nobody and a successful community speedwatch session is catching nobody.

“I want to make sure any enforcement and speedwatch is done in fairness, if that makes sense, in plain sight.

Mr Champness said: “The signs are a necessary part of the legislation and the warning is part of the Road Traffic Act, from memory.

“Therefore it would require parliament to change things, and they’re a little preoccupied.”

Cllr Bowen, and Independent member of Herefordshire Council, said: “It seems that your system’s actually doing what it’s meant to do; keeping people within the limits. What more do you want?”

He recommended the use of speed indicator devices that show drivers their speed.

“They certainly make a big difference to people’s behaviour and they do not cause resentment,” he said.