COUNCILLORS are appealing for the return of a speed sign, which was stolen from the roadside.

A vehicle activated sign (VAS) was placed in Great Kingshill by Hughenden Parish Council.

The sign flashed '30mph slow down' if motorists exceeds the speed limit but was taken between August 20 and 29.

The parish has three other signs, but had to close the scheme down until the council sort out insurance and improved fixing security.

Cllr Phil Conran said: "It is holding things up. It is very frustrating for people.

"We don't really want to be putting them out for some joy rider to come along and take them."

The signs are moved around the parish to try and establish where the real problems are.

The council bought two late last year using a grant from the North West Chilterns Local Area Forum and they were being used by the Neighbourhood Action Group Community Speedwatch group.

These are volunteers who help with speed monitoring activity in the village, often working with the police in the use of Traffic Speed Identification Devices, which then lead to warning letters being sent to offenders that they will receive a fine if caught again.

A third VAS was supplied on permanent loan and since the scheme started, a fourth VAS has been bought.

Cllr Conran added: "The question is, why would anyone want to steal one. They have absolutely no material value as they are all plastic and they cannot be used without approval from the county highways department. It is therefore assumed that it is a late night prank or has been stolen as a trophy.

"For the council and local community, though, it is not funny as they cost nearly £3,000 and the theft casts a shadow over a very beneficial scheme to the local community."

The council has offered a reward of £100 for information leading to its return, or call police on 101.