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Tuesday, 14 August, 2001, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Fake speed camera signs spark row
Camera sign
Villagers hope the fake signs will stop speeding
Villagers have put up fake signs showing speed cameras in an attempt to make drivers slow down.

Residents in Haughton, Staffordshire, said they had been driven to use the fake signs after officials refused to put up real cameras.

A local council official said the signs were illegal and the authority would take action to remove them.

Residents remained defiant insisting the signs were working.

Immediate effect

Councillor Barry Stamp, of Haughton Parish Council, said: "Villagers have been very concerned about the excessive traffic speed through the village.

"This is just the latest in our campaign to reduce the speed of traffic.

"It's working remarkably well, within minutes of the signs going up traffic started to slow down."

Staffordshire County Council is hoping to double the number of speed cameras on its roads to 400 over the next few years.

Coun Barry Stamp
Barry Stamp: "Villagers are extremely concerned"
It is one of four counties to be included in a scheme to fund extra cameras by using speeding fines announced by the government.

The cameras are installed by local authorities but operated by the police.

Residents in Haughton have put up about 20 fake camera signs along the busy A518 which runs through the centre of the village.

Graham Jones, a road safety officer for Staffordshire County Council, said the signs should be taken down.

'Undermine system'

"These signs proport that speed cameras are in operation and they are not.

"We believe they are misleading to motorists and are unlawful.

"In Staffordshire we have an extensive speed camera system that has the respect of motorists," he said.

"To put cameras up willy nilly like this will undermine our camera system and we will lose the benefits of that system.

"We will be contacting those people who have signs on their property and hopefully we will be able to reach an agreement to have them removed."

Residents defiant

But Councillor Stamp said: "They don't look like real traffic signs, they're nailed on pieces of wood on people's trees.

"We're not going to take them down."

A spokesman for the county council said that an application by the parish council for speed cameras in the village had been turned down.

"At the moment there are higher priorities," he said.

"Other villages have a more severe problem and speed cameras will work better there."

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