December 12 2013 Latest news:
Westcotec, based in Dereham, quickly replaced Leziate Parish Council's warning sign after their new sign was stolen. Pictured are (L) Westcotec sales and marketing manager Mike Crowe and MD Phil Hayton. Picture: Ian Burt
Thursday, October 10, 2013
A Dereham manufacturer has come to the rescue of a West Norfolk village after its flashing speed warning sign was stolen within hours of it being delivered.
Westcotec, which is based at Bertie Ward Way in Dereham, has been working with Norfolk County Council for 14 years to supply signs which flash to show drivers the speed they are travelling at.
Leziate Parish Council bought two of the £2,800 portable signs in partnership with Norfolk County Council, West Norfolk council and Ashwicken Primary School.
In a single hour the signs clocked three vehicles travelling at more than 60mph on a 40mph stretch of road.
But one of the brand new signs, which had been clamped to a post in East Winch Road, Ashwicken, near King’s Lynn, was in situ for less than a day before being stolen.
Although Westcotec maintains all of the flashing signs across Norfolk for Norfolk County Council and that they will replace the fixed ones whether they are stolen or damaged, they have not replaced portable ones before because their maintenance is beyond their control.
But managing director Phil Hayton said they decided to replace Leziate’s sign immediately as it was stolen within hours of being delivered.
He said: “They don’t normally get stolen because cars are driving past all the time so it was very strange.
“We like the signs because they remind you gently. Everyone hates getting three or six points but this is a nice way to make people aware of the speed they are doing.”
He said with the portable signs it was up to the local community to nominate an individual to change the batteries and put the sign on the pole.
The stolen sign was 80cm by 35cm with rounded corners, fixed in position with clamps and secured with a padlock.
He said: “It was brand new. It was really unfortunate but we are a very customer-focussed company with some really great clients. We do hope this is the only one we have to replace however.”
Police are investigating the theft and are appealing for anyone with information to call officers on 101.