VILLAGERS battling for the right to introduce measures to counter speeding motorists outside their homes have voiced dismay towards a council’s response to their campaign.

North Yorkshire County Council’s leading members look set to allow parish authorities to buy and maintain their own vehicle activated speed (VAS) signs, following widespread safety concerns among residents.

Despite suggestions issues of speeding in some villages is a matter of perception rather than reality, more than 70 parishes have stated they would consider buying a VAS, which show the area’s speed limit.

While the lifting of its restrictions over VAS the council’s executive has been recommended to approve is what numerous parishes have been pressing for, the move has been branded “practically pointless” due to the authority seeking to retain a large degree of control over the signs.A report to the executive members states conditions parishes would have to abide by should include over where the signs are sited, their removal, and the type of sign and supplier to be used.

It said a councillors’ review of VAS had recognised “the importance of providing consistency of design across the county”, as motorists were more likely to view signs as ‘official’, and ruled out speed indicator devices and ones that displaying smiley and sad face symbols. The review also found “signs should be purchased from a supplier chosen by North Yorkshire County Council to ensure consistency of design and reliability”.

Councillor Gordon Davies, chairman of Middleton Tyas Parish Council, said the conditions meant VAS would remain unaffordable for many villages.

He said North Yorkshire’s policy contrasted with that of neighbouring areas such as Durham, where parishes were free to choose what would work best for them and if they wanted to share the sign and cost with neighbouring areas.

Cllr Davies said as Middleton Tyas continued to suffer from large volumes of speeding motorists the village was set to join North Yorkshire Police’s Community Speedwatch scheme so speeding motorists could be told to address their behaviour.