A COMMUNITY speedwatch scheme launched in Malmesbury this month has been heralded a great success after just three motorists were clocked breaking the town's 30mph speed limit.

Volunteers from the town armed themselves with speed guns last week in a bid to cut the number of motorists who regularly flout the 30mph limit through the town.

The group targeted Whychurch Hill for one hour and monitored 101 vehicles. Just three were exceeding the limit travelling down the hill, with the top speed recorded of 39mph.

Those who were observed speeding will now receive a letter from Wiltshire Police reminding them of the speed limit. Any driver caught by Speedwatch teams on a number of occasions do face heavier police intervention.

In October, the volunteers will hit the roads again to target other speeding hotspots such as Bristol Road, Sherston Road and Tetbury Hill.

Deputy mayor Ray Sanderson, who is co-ordinating the project, said he was delighted with the first day's success.

"In total we had 101 vehicles pass us, three of which were way above the limit," he told the Standard, "This is being done for educational reasons, not to generate revenue through issuing fines. We want to stop accidents before they occur, not prosecute people.

"We are highly visible to cars, they see us and slow down and then hopefully maintain that correct speed.

"From what we are doing I hope we can make a huge difference to road safety in the town."

The speed watch team shares the equipment with neighbouring Oaksey and Minety. They will hit the roads again on October 30 and Cllr Sanderson said they will make it a priority to be monitoring speeding traffic over the Christmas period.

More volunteers are sought for the scheme Operators tend to work in pairs and full training is given. Those taking part should be prepared to undergo a police check, but not a full Criminal Records Bureau check.

More information and application forms are available from deputy town clerk Phil Rice at Malmesbury Town Council or on email at phil.rice@malmesbury.gov.uk.