Large 30mph speed sign painted on house in Bow, Devon


A man in Devon paints a 15ft, 30mph sign on the side of his house to remind motorists of the speed limit.

A man has painted a 30mph sign the height of a double decker bus on the side of his house in a Devon village.

Tim Backhouse, who moved to Bow two years ago, said he hoped the 15ft (4.5m) sign would slow traffic.

He said speeding traffic on the A3072 made it difficult to cross the road to get to the village shop.

Devon County Council said its own tests revealed most drivers kept to the 30mph (48km/h) limit but it was aware of residents' concerns.

"Bow has a shop 300 yards (274m) outside the village perimeter which a lot of pedestrians walk to," Mr Backhouse said.

'Almost hit'

"There's no safe crossing point, the pavement runs out near a corner and it would be just about OK if vehicles did do 30mph, but they don't.

"Since we moved to the village two years ago, we've witnessed a few instances where people have almost been hit by vehicles."

He said he wanted a pedestrian crossing to be installed in the village.

Stuart Hussey, who also lives in Bow, said most traffic "and especially the lorries" did not keep to the 30mph limit.

"All it is is a sign on a wall and if it works, great," he added.

The county council said it had built a footpath to the shop, which Mr Backhouse said residents were grateful for.

The council also said its speed checks recorded an average speed of 27.2mph in the 30mph zone.

A spokesman said: "We're aware of concerns about the speed of traffic through the village, and local police have worked with the community on enforcement issues."

Mr Backhouse said he painted the sign as part of Road Safety Week UK and would paint over it on 5 December.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    @152 - So whose head will it be on when the first wee kiddie is killed by some loon going at 50 because it's "the speed limit"?

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    @151.jason bray
    Great idea When I see those flashing speed signs I check my speed and slow donw if required. I don't think most of us are deliberate speeders, our speed just creeps up.
    Good point. I dont put my foot down, but generally im spending more time looking for suicidal pedestrians and other road users than contstantly looking at my speedo.

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    Fair play to the person in question for trying to do something about a problem rather than just whinging about it; I hope it works.
    On a similar note: I was driving on a major A road on the weekend (60 limit) behind a driver doing 40. We came to a village and the limit reduced to 50 but the driver in front sped up to get to 50. Too many drivers have no common sense!

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    Michael Lloyd"May we please be given some facts... or can anyone paint what they like on their houses nowadays?"

    Perish the thought Michael that people should be able to paint what they like on their own houses or protect the amenity of the area they pay to live in. I do think he has more worth than those who think anything "publicly" owned is their playground or waste tip .,

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    @TimmyNorfolk (117) re automatic speed restrictions:

    I just feel that much of the tailgating is done by people wanting to go faster than the car in front. With automatic limiters, such drivers either can't close the gap on the one in front to harrass them, or have little incentive to do so.

    Re "zombie drivers", I've driven vehicles with speed limiters and still had plenty else to concentrate on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    Very pleased to see the number of people here who are against speeding.

    Speeding is antisocial and dangerous. It's a way for inadequates to show they are "big" men.

    To those complaining that "people might get distracted by the sign"- well, frankly, if they get distracted by a sign so easily they should not be on the road.

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    125: I would much rather have cars driving past my house at 40, if they paying attention, than 30 and oblivious as the vast majority are.

    Drivers who are paying attention obey the speed limit. So the ones doing 40 are those in a trance. If I exceed the speed limit it is purely because I am not concentrating and deserve to be fined.

  • Comment number 152.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 151.

    Great idea When I see those flashing speed signs I check my speed and slow donw if required. I don't think most of us are deliberate speeders, our speed just creeps up. A massive great sign on the side of a house that is face on to the road does the job. I hope there are no beurocratic councilors who want him to take it down

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    The ignorance of drivers is quite unbelieveable at times. People on the roads whether it be in cars, lorries, on cycles or motorbikes create the problems but not all of them are down to younger or older drivers - its sheer ignorance or arrogrance or a combination of both.
    I dont see anything wrong with the sign and anything that highlights an issue can only be a positive. Good for him!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    @adoptedmariner, #118 - I'm almost certain those likely to vandalise a sign such as this are unlikely to be reading the BBC's website.

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    Brilliant idea and well done to him - 'boy racers' are a pain in the proverbial.

    I first saw this in a French village about five years ago as well.

  • rate this

    Comment number 147.

    1. The speed checks were probably taken from a police speed trap placed in a highly visible part of road which may have caused motorists to alter their speeds, thus giving bias results.

    2. I doubt the council have granted planning permission for such redecoration of his home and will have good grounds to force its removal.

  • rate this

    Comment number 146.

    Good on him. I live on a street that has cars parked on both sides all down it and nobody should be travelling faster than 20mph because the sheer amount of parked cars hides people who are crossing until such a time as it would be too late to stop, and yet people race their cars down here at 40, 50 or 60 mph, usually young lads in bright yellow/orange cars with custom exhausts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 145.

    127.Michael Lloyd
    "...or can anyone paint what they like on their houses nowadays?"
    Thank you for letting us know.
    I didn't realise that we were living in communist China, where private property doesn't exist so that one has to ask permission from the state for everything one does."

    I haven't "let you know" anything - I asked a simple question. Planning affects these matters

  • rate this

    Comment number 144.

    Great Lateral thinking well done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    I don't see why anyone has a problem keeping to the speed limit. some drivers seem to think that because they don't agree with the law then it doesn't apply to them, following that logic if I was to think that the law regarding arson was a stupid law and that I have the right to set light to whatever I please then I don't have to obey that law.

  • rate this

    Comment number 142.

    The police speed check in our road was conveniently placed in the one place traffic has to conform to the limit. Despite complaints it was not moved but the data was still used to refuse our application for speed calming measures. I love his speed sign, ugly but it makes the point.

  • rate this

    Comment number 141.

    Good for him!! Once again the public have to take things into their own hands to get anything done. What do we pay taxes for? To furnish Mr Cameron's lounge?

    Pathetic country

  • rate this

    Comment number 140.


    So you're saying somebody has to die before he's allowed to do anything about it?


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