Schoolchildren are fighting back against speeders.

Pupils at Marshwood Primary Academy have written to West Dorset MP, Sir Oliver Letwin, to push for a 20mph speed limit to be introduced on the road that passes their primary school.

A few years ago the speed limit through the village was reduced from 40mph to 30mph but it has been claimed the change has made little difference and, as a result, local volunteers have formed a Community Speed Watch team authorised by Dorset Police to try and tackle the problem.

One of the main concerns is the speed of cars driving along the B3165 that passes the school and Luke Owen, the head of school and a former police officer, decided to allow a group of pupils to join the Speed Watch team on a recent check.

The children found that 37 per cent of the cars passing the school were exceeding the speed limit, with one vehicle recorded at 48mph. They analysed all the data in a subsequent mathematics lesson. Then, in a literacy class, they composed letters to Mr Letwin and local councillors expressing their concerns about the dangers they faced.

Parents have to park on the B3165 when dropping off and collecting their children every day and some of the children decided to suggest that all roads passing schools should have a 20mph speed limit automatically imposed.

Whenever any local Speed Watch team carries out checks on motorists, they record how many vehicles were checked and how many were observed exceeding the speed limit thresholds (25mph in a 20mph area, 36mph in a 30mph area and 47 mph in a 40mph area.

On the first two occasions that a vehicle is seen exceeding these thresholds a warning letter will be sent by Dorset Police to its owner and if it is observed speeding for a third time this will be referred to the Safer Neighbourhood Team to consider further action.