RESIDENTS living in a village plagued by speeding have been giving a helping hand to tackle motorists who regularly break the speed limit.

For years, Sadberge has been used as a rat-run by motorists, with recent figures showing some drivers are hitting speeds of more than 60mph as they approach the village.

From September 2010 to November 2012, residents and parish councillors carried out 109 community speed watch events, catching more than 2,000 motorists speeding through the village.

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To help tackle the problem, Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg has given the parish council a £2,000 grant from his Community Safety Fund to fund a speed sign.

The sign, which can be moved to different locations around the village, flashes up the speed of each car to make drivers aware they are breaking the limit, as well as recording their speed.

Parish council chairman, Lee Tate said since the introduction of the sign, motorists have been slowing down as they approach the village.

“For as long as I have lived in the village, which is 15 years, speeding has always been an issue and we have been trying to do something about it,” he said.

“For the last eight years it has been one of the agenda items and it is only recently since Ron came on board that we have been provided with something that has been the most effective deterrent by a long way.

“We have also been getting positive reports from the community.”

Mr Hogg said speeding is a major problem across County Durham, and gave his backing to any future enforcement action in the village from Durham Police.

Brian Jones, ward councillor and vice-chairman of the Durham Police and Crime Panel, added: “It is a useful machine as we cannot have police officers here all the time. This is a good deterrent for speeding, which is antisocial behaviour.

“If worst comes to the worst, these people could be injured in an accident which they could live to regret for the rest of their lives.”

Parish clerk Alastair Mackenzie thanked both Mr Hogg and Darlington Borough Council, who provided five mounting posts for the speed sign.

“I would say to people, please do not speed through our community,” he said.

“We have elderly people and children in this community and they are creating a hazard by travelling through at high speeds.

“All they are doing is saving a few seconds in their journey time which is not a justification for causing a hazard and risk to our community members.”