HIGHWAY chiefs are slashing the speed limit on a dual carriageway dubbed a “grand prix circuit” by bikers using it as a racetrack.

Bosses told fed up villagers at a packed public meeting that they will act straight away and introduce a new temporary 50mph limit which could become permanent.

Residents attending the meeting described the deafening noise made by motorcyclists hurtling along a 70mph stretch of road between two roundabouts at Cadnam.

They complained that bikers posting messages on the Internet were describing it as the Cadnam Grand Prix Circuit.

Residents demanded the introduction of a 40mph limit, plus lane closures and alterations to one of the bends.

Daily Echo: For a video of the top stories in today's Daily Echo, click the front page.

They received the backing of New Forest East MP Dr Julian Lewis, whose constituency headquarters is only yards from the dual carriageway.

He said: “I’m a motorcyclist myself and I know what would put me off – a lower limit and a speed camera.

“A reduction in the current restriction and a bit of technology would be the least demanding combination of factors from the police’s point of view.”

Councillor Mel Kendal, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for environment, warned that a 40mph limit could be challenged on the grounds it was too low.

However, he pledged to introduce a temporary 50mph limit followed by a permanent restriction once the regulatory process had been completed.

“I can’t promise you a 40mph limit but I can promise you a 50mph one,” he said.

Highway chiefs will also look at the possibility of using hatching to make the road surface more uneven and thus less attractive to reckless riders.

About 30 villagers attended the meeting to highlight the problems caused by motorcyclists hurtling between the Cadnam roundabout and Junction 1 of the M27.

Speakers said groups of up to 15 bikers were using the road as early as 5.15am and as late as 10.30pm.

Cllr Kendal cited the bikers’ “enormous” speed and added: “It’s a miracle there’s been only one injury accident recorded in the past three years.”