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MOTORISTS driving through Hanley Swan are being met with a new plea to slow down, thanks to a local school pupil.

Hanley Swan Primary School joined forces with Malvern Hills District Council and police community support officer Lisa Freeman to launch a competition to design a new speed awareness sign for the area.

It followed concerns raised by the school about the speed of traffic travelling along Welland Road.

Lawrence Costello, aged six, was the overall winner of the competition for his design of a boy holding a speed limit sign and the words No more than 30mph in Hanley Swan.

Lawrence’s design has now been professionally produced and put up in various locations around the village as a warning to drivers to kill their speed.

When asked why it was important that motorists slowed down, Lawrence said: "Because they might crash."

Cllr Bronwen Behan, responsible for community safety on the district council, said: “I was very impressed with Lawrence’s design and it sends the perfect message to motorists travelling through Hanley Swan. The risk of death is four times higher if a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph.

“Hopefully, motorists will take notice of these new signs and slow down.”

Concerns about speeding through Hanley Swan have been expressed for years, but matters came to a head last June, when a group of ducks crossing the road were killed by a motorist.

Village shop owner Rosalind Davies started a petition calling for action which garnered hundreds of signatures within days.

And earlier this year, a new vehicle-activated sign was been put in place in the village, partly funded by a donation of £1,200 from the Hanley Swan Market, a community market which is held each month at the village hall, with the rest of the cost, some £2,000 paid for by Hanley Castle Parish Council.

The new sign is an improvement on the sign that it because as well as flashing to drivers who are breaching the 40mph limit, it can also record speed data, which can be used to provide evidence if further traffic-calming methods are requested in the future.