FED-up villagers and concerned parents say they have had enough of motorists speeding near their local primary school – and have set up a petition calling for 20mph zone to be introduced.

Marshwood residents have formed a Speed Watch group and have been monitoring traffic outside Marshwood Primary School, along the B3165.

The group claims its findings show that, on average, 160 cars pass the school every hour, with more than a third speeding at 34mph or more and a quarter at 40mph or more.

The highest speed recorded outside the school was 74mph.

Calls are being made to reduce the speed limit to 20mph around the school and create safer spaces for pedestrians and ways to cross the road.

Co-ordinated by Cllr Jacqui Sewell, volunteers are gathering data to support their application to lower the speed limit from 30mph.

Cllr Sewell said: “Marshwood is a rat run and always has been. We just want people to abide by the speed limit.

“We are up and running with eight new volunteers and have had great support from parents and the PCSO

“We don’t want to wait for somebody to be killed before we do something about it.”

Children must cross the busy B3165 to use the school playing field and, such are the concerns about speeding through the village, Marshwood Community Land Trust (CLT) has purchased a hi-vis vest for every pupil at the school to wear in a bid to slow down traffic and make the road safer to cross.

Marshwood Primary School headteacher, Luke Owen, says he is keen to raise awareness of the speeding issues and ‘fully supports’ the Speed Watch group.

“This time last year the children got involved in Community Speed Watch by monitoring the traffic and producing a report. The number of vehicles speeding was quite telling,” he said.

“There have been a couple of near misses, with cars going past groups of children well over 30mph. It’s a persistent problem and we’re trying to make it as safe as possible – why can’t all schools have a 20mph zone?”

The group is collecting signatures for its petition, found at the school’s reception, to lower the speed limit and calling for more volunteers.

For more information, search ‘Marshwood Speed Watch’ on Facebook.