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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just in case you hadn't noticed... it's 30mph outside my house! Villager paints huge sign on his home to stop the speeders

-'I know it might seem like a bit of a drastic measure but I'm sick and tired of motorists, lorries in particular, speeding through'

By James White

Didn't know the speed limit? That's an excuse that won't wash with police in this village.

That's because builder Tim Backhouse has painted a 15ft-high 30mph sign on the side of his house in Bow, Devon, to get drivers to keep their speed down.

Mr Backhouse, 47, has repeatedly asked his local council to install traffic calming measures on the A3072 through the the village.

End of the road? Tim Backhouse stands outside his home in Bow, Devon, where he painted the huge 30mph in a bid to slow down speeding drivers

When Devon County Council failed to act the father-of-three spent five hours covering the entire side wall of his end-of-terrace property with the giant speed limit sign - the size of a double-decker bus.

Mr Backhouse, a self-employed artist and builder, said: 'I know it might seem like a bit of a drastic measure but I'm sick and tired of motorists, lorries in particular, speeding through.

'This way, I thought there's no way they can miss the sign and might just get the message.

'My wife and I have only lived in the village for two years and I've got to admit we were apprehensive about how people would react.

'But everyone's been very supportive, the general feeling is that Bow has been forgotten about and something needs to be done.

'The road is littered with potholes and although the only shop is just outside the village there is no zebra crossing and after school there are lots of kids racing over there.

'It's becoming an even bigger problem as it gets dark earlier.

'We are on a HGV route here and it can get very noisy, especially early in the mornings and in the evenings.'

Sign of the times: Mr Backhouse's home sits on the busy A3072 but Devon Council has refused to introduce traffic-calming measures

Tim lives in his £300,000 four-bedroomed house with science technician wife Rachel, 36, and three children Rowan, four, Faye, seven and Oliver, 13.

He fears someone will be knocked over as the darker nights draw in.

Devon County Council carried out a traffic survey and found the average speed was only 31mph in the village.

But Tim says that average is not a fair reflection as the traffic is reduced to snail's pace at busy times.

So he spent £100 and five hours painting the sign - which is the size of a double decker bus and required specialist ladders - on his home on Monday using standard red and white emulsion paint.

He added: 'It isn't very nice to be sitting in your living room and to hear large lorries and cars speeding past.
'There is no speed camera in the village so no incentive for people to abide by the law.

'If drivers just stuck to the speed limit Bow would be a much nicer place to live.'
Tim painted the huge sign to coincide with Road Safety Week, which runs from November 21-27.



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