Vandals try to set new higher speed

Warton PACT chairman Julie Brickles and Wrea Green PACT chairman John Rowson with one of the vandalised signs.
Warton PACT chairman Julie Brickles and Wrea Green PACT chairman John Rowson with one of the vandalised signs.
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VANDALS have made their views known about new speed limits on a village road.

But Lancashire County Council today warned it will not tolerate graffiti after the new 20mph signs on Church Road in Warton, were crudely altered with spray-paint.

Several of the speed limit signs – erected as part of the county council’s drive to lower speed limits – have been changed to 30mph, while two more have been altered to suggest an 80mph limit.

The move has left councillors baffled – and one community campaigner said it is further proof the new speed measures were not working.

Coun Julie Brickles, who represents the village on Fylde Council, said: “There are 10 signs between Warton and Wrea Green which are affected.

“The 80mph ones look quite convincing because it is easier to change a two to an eight, but we’ve got no idea why someone’s done it.

“It seems strange that just this particular road has been targeted and all the signs have been altered.

“Lancashire County Council has been out and checked them and they can’t clean them, so they are replacing them with anti-vandal signs.”

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The introduction of 20mph limits has been controversial and Church Road residents had launched a campaign to get the speed limit on their road reinstated to 30mph.

But Coun Brickles added: “The residents all vehemently believe the speed limit should be 30mph but they are not the kind of people who would do this.”

Church Road is often used as a main route between Wrea Green and BAe Systems, at Warton, and John Rowson, who chairs Wrea Green’s PACT meetings, said the signs in the villages are regularly ignored.

He said: “I think it’s awful someone has vandalised them because they have to be cleaned up and that’s an expense. But I don’t think 20mph is working anyway – very few people do 20mph through the village.”

The county council has now asked for a greater police presence in the area and is also planning to be “pro-active” and replace any speed signs it feels may be targeted with the new anti-vandal signs.

County Coun Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We have asked police to increase their presence in the area – obviously someone has gone to a lot of trouble to change the signs, which we can’t understand.

“We are replacing the signs with anti-vandalism signs –for the same price – which are impossible to paint over.

“I drive through Wrea Green and Warton and the signs are working from personal experience. I drive at 20mph and so do other drivers.

“It is an irresponsible minority carrying out this vandalism who do not care about road safety – you have a 95 per cent chance of survival if you’re hit at 20mph and a 90 per cent chance of being killed at 40mph.”

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