ANGRY residents of in a Borders village met with councillors last week to try and find a solution to speeding vehicles passing through the area.

Frustrated villagers in Heiton who remonstrate with drivers are regularly subjected to verbal abuse.

And in one case they say they have been threatened with violence after a driver stopped to confront a resident who was pointing out the 20mph sign.

This problem has been ongoing for many years but was once again brought to a head last month following the death of another pet cat – the fifth in recent times.

Cat owner Michael Steele purchased a cut-out police officer displaying a radar gun which was tied to a lamppost in an effort to slow down vehicles.

Peeblesshire News: Fake police officer in Heiton

But this was stolen within a day and two home-made 20mph signs were thrown into a bin.

Mr Steele's partner Tracey Murray said: “Having to explain to a five-year-old that his pet has been killed was devastating but it could be a child next.”

Frustrated neighbour Simon Erskine who has been a long-time campaigner on the subject added: “Around 10 years ago a survey identified that 250 vehicles passed through Heiton every day travelling at more than 50mph.

"The speed limit at that time was 30mph but driver behaviour has not changed since then and it still continues.

“My life has been severely affected by this and it’s the first thing that anyone who moves into the village mentions. Making it 20mph was a waste of time as only the law-abiding drivers slow down to 20mph, and the others just ignore it.”

At the residents’ request, councillors Scott Hamilton and Sandy Scott attended Heiton and listened to their concerns.

The councillors also saw for themselves the extent of the problem. During their visit dozens of vehicles passed through the village at speeds well over the 20mph limit.

One villager showed the councillors mobile phone footage taken that morning of a driver overtaking two cars in the village travelling at an estimated speed of 60mph.

Mr Hamilton believes that a multi-agency approach is needed to tackle the problem.

He said: "The frustration of residents in Heiton was clear. Drivers have regularly been observed abusing the speed limits and mobile phone footage presented at the meeting also showed reckless driving. In order to change this situation, we have to work together with Scottish Borders Council, the police and the community.

“From the meeting, the community agreed to play its part and councillor Scott and myself took on board a number of action points, but the police also need to do their part. My simple ask to the public is please observe the speed limits.

“We heard that a number of pets have been killed in the village. This situation could become far worse, do drivers really want that on their conscience just because they want to chance their luck?"