THOUSANDS of motorists are speeding through a Teesdale village every week, according to the results of traffic survey.
Of the 33,369 vehicles recorded during a seven-day period on the A67 at the west end of Gainford, near Barnard Castle, more than 60 per cent were above the 30mph speed limit.
This included 3,724 recorded travelling above 36mph and 959 speeding at more than 41mph.
However, at the east end of the village, where there is a long straight section of the A67 into the village and a 40mph zone prior to the 30mph limit, the number of speeding vehicles was less than five per cent of the 39,781 recorded.
Some 1,617 vehicles were recorded over the 40mph limit and 266 were above 46mph in the 40mph zone.
Police were asked to carry out the survey by Gainford and Langton Parish Council, whose members have regularly voiced concerns over speeding through the village.
It was conducted between November 6 and 14 last year, members were told.
Councillor Simon Platten described the situation as “an absolute free for all”.
He added: “We have got to keep this relentless pressure on or we will end up with a funeral and that is not the driver we want for change.
“The one thing the survey has shown is that the western end of the village is a cause for concern as well.”
He also disputed the accuracy of the data for the eastern entrance to Gainford, highlighting one incident last weekend.
“On my way up to the allotments, I saw a four-wheel BMW which must have been doing 80mph and I didn't see any brake lights until it reached the pub. This is not unusual.”
Coun Sarah Hannan added: “The problem at the east end is in front of the GP surgery. Cars are still going at 40pmh when the speed limit is 30mph.”
Police say speeding in the village would be best tackled through the community speedwatch scheme.
In a report to the parish council, officers said part of the problem at the west end of the village could be due to the winding rural nature of the A67, which gives motorists little warning they are about to enter a 30mph if they are unfamiliar with the area.
Parish clerk Martin Clerk urged members to ensure speeding remains a priority issue through the Police and Communities Together (PACT) process.