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'What's wrong with the world?' Despair as speed signs looted in villages

PUBLISHED: 16:47 21 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:47 21 June 2018

The Hollesley Speed Indication Display (SID) has been left removed after being broken into and emptied of its battery and logbook. Picture: JAMES MALLINDER

The Hollesley Speed Indication Display (SID) has been left removed after being broken into and emptied of its battery and logbook. Picture: JAMES MALLINDER

James Mallinder

Electronic signs hailed for cutting speeding through rural Suffolk have been looted in five villages near Woodbridge.

Parish councillor James Mallinder with the device when it was installed last winter Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNParish councillor James Mallinder with the device when it was installed last winter Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Batteries were stolen from speed indicators in Sutton, Hollesley, Chillesford, Tunstall and Snape between June 11 and 18.

Hollesley’s mobile Speed Indication Display, known as SID, was installed last January.

By October, the moveable SID was credited with cutting levels of motorists exceeding 30mph but the device was left redundant after being broken into and stripped of its battery and logbook.

In Snape, padlocked signs on the north and south side of the village were targeted by thieves

Hollesley parish council’s James Mallinder said: “I don’t get it. What’s wrong with the world?

“This sign means everyone’s a winner. It helps improve safety by reminding people they’re driving through a village.

“Someone broke the padlock and stole the big heavy battery and logbook containing records of speeds. If we come across an area of consistent speeding, we can pass information to the highways authority as proof of an issue and the need for calming measures.”

The SID was targeted while located at Black Ditch Bridge in Alderton Road. Villagers noticed the problem when the sign failed to illuminate and indicate speeds.

Earlier this year, a speed indicator in Sutton, four miles from Hollesley on the B1083, was vandalised twice in a week.

It prompted the temporary removal of the Hollesley SID as a precaution against damage.

Mr Mallinder is an advocate of the signs and has advised other villages on acquiring their own.

Soon after its installation, the SID observed more than three quarters of vehicles speeding through one end of the village.

Nine months later, just one in every 20 vehicles was recorded travelling faster than 35mph on the stretch of road opposite the village playing field entrance.

Half a dozen posts were put up around Hollesley for the sign to be used in rotation. It also led to the village gaining new 30mph signs and markings to create the perception of the road narrowing.

The £3,000 sign was paid for with money from fundraising, and donations from the budgets of the county and district councillor.

At Snape’s annual village meeting in May, villagers agreed the signs had made a positive difference to traffic speed.

If you know anything about the thefts, call police on 101.

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