Road signs have been vandalised in Shirley and Freemantle in protest to the 20mph speed limit implemented in September.

Several signs have been defaced with grey or black graffiti obscuring the number 20 from view to motorists.

The 20mph zones were implemented across Shirley and Freemantle after an initial rollout in Bassett, Polygon, and St Deny’s.

It comes after the local authority identified 14 areas across the city that would benefit from a reduced speed limit.

Daily Echo:

Member of Shirley and Freemantle watch, Tony Weafer, told the Echo the introduction of the lower speed limit in the area isn’t being enforced, leading to some motorists ignoring it altogether.

He said: “A law has been implemented that nobody is enforcing.

“There were never any problems before when there was a 30mph speed limit and I think it’s making a fool of the community.

“I walk along Shirley High Street every day and sometimes you have to run across the crossing to avoid being hit by a vehicle because they’re simply not taking any notice of the speed limit.”

Daily Echo: Tony WeaferTony Weafer

Tony said the implementation of the 20mph zone would only add to the pollution in the city.

He said: “Southampton has often been one of the most polluted cities in the country.

“If cars are driving along at 20mph they are only going to pump more fumes into the air and make it worse.”

Reacting to the news, opposition councillor, Jeremy Moulton, told the Echo the "council had gone too far".

He said: “20mph limits have been introduced to help reduce injuries and save lives.

“Many residents have been calling for speed reductions in quieter, side roads for years.”

He added: “However the council has gone further than many people think is sensible, introducing limits on A roads and main roads and in some cases, this may be leading to a more dangerous situation and road rage.

“I have specifically called for Hill Lane for instance to be reconsidered. There is no excuse for vandalism and ultimately the cost is borne by hardworking taxpayers.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Southampton City Council said: “We are appalled by the senseless vandalism to the 20mph signs, which will of course result in a cost for their replacement.

“The 20mph speed limit has been introduced in areas of Southampton that requested it, following a public consultation that showed strong support for the benefits of safer roads.

“Drivers should note that the defacement of the signs does not mean the 20mph speed limit is not in place.”