Police were asked about whether members of a community could be provided with speed guns in Fairlie.

The item was raised during a recent Fairlie community council meeting after secretary Karla Tully asked a police officer what the position is in relation to members of the public using the devices as a deterrent.

Karla said the matter was raised as a plot detail on a recent episode of the BBC Radio 4 programme 'The Archers' when residents in the fictional village of Ambridge in the fictional county of Borsetshire, in the English Midlands.

She said: "In 'The Archers', a group of people got hi-vis vests on and speed guns and it was endorsed by the police - I guess this doesn't happen in North Ayrshire? It seems to happen in England."

PC Dominic Murphy of Largs Police responded: "I have not heard of members of the public using speed guns as the police have to be trained to use them, and it has to be permissible in a court of law."

He added that there motorists may stop and question members of the public if such a situation arose, whereas police would be able to deal with any motorists who were to stop and question matters.

PC Murphy added: "As a member of the public, there is nothing to stop you standing at the side of the road with a hi-vis vest on - that is entirely your prerogative. But if it was with a speed gun, I can almost guarantee that that wouldn't be enforceable as such. I think there are a lot of logistics to something like that."

Community councillor David Telford stated that suggestions had been made in the past regarding people wearing hi-vis jackets and pointing a hair-dryer instead to try and make drivers slow down.

PC Murphy said: "I would suggest that if you feel that strongly and it is an issue, then contact the police."

Cllr. Telford added that the loss of the traffic island at Dawn Homes had not yet been addressed in terms of providing a safe crossing area for people crossing the road.

He added: "There are around seven or eight sets of traffic lights in Largs, but we can't get traffic lights in Fairlie apart from the experimental ones at the Causeway, and I actually think they are more dangerous than anything else."

The traffic lights at the Causeway turn to red if cars are speeding at 30mph, but concerns have been raised by motorists coming out of the Causeway junction in relation to some vehicles jumping the red lights.