Speed activated traffic lights which turn red if cars are speeding through Fairlie have not been working for two years, a meeting has been told.

The lights on the A78 in the centre of the village, at the junction of Main Road and The Causeway and believed to be the first of their kind in Scotland, were introduced nine years ago this month.

They were the result of a 'safer roads' campaign launched after a lorry smashed into a block of flats in 2013, killing resident Catherine Bonner.

But they have been dogged with problems since their introduction, including concerns aired by drivers coming out of The Causeway nearby that cars were jumping the red light and risking a collision.

The lights, and their problems, were a hot topic at the latest meeting of Fairlie Community Council (FCC).

Community councillor Alan Holden said: "Is there any success in slowing down the traffic?"

FCC secretary Marco Piva explained at the meeting that he had spoken to a maintenance operator working on the lights.

He stated that the traffic lights, which are supposed to be speed activated, are not, and haven’t been for around two years.

This, Mr Piva said he'd been told, is because a glitch with the sensor on the north side was causing every passing vehicle to turn the lights to red, regardless of its speed.

The sensor was switched off as a result - and, Mr Piva said, while it can be fixed, a repair has to be requested by Amey, the trunk road maintenance provider responsible for the A78.

Sergeant Donald Fisher, from Police Scotland in Largs, told the meeting that he would support a request to reinstate the sensor if one is made. 

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Cllr Alan Hill vowed to pursue the matterCllr Alan Hill vowed to pursue the matter (Image: North Ayrshire Council)

North Coast councillor Alan Hill said he would be willing to write to Amey, but said it was still vital for motorists to drive sensibly, and warned of the risk to drivers pulling out of The Causeway if speeding motorists ignore the lights.

Mr Piva said: "There is no red light camera active because the fact that the lights are speed activated was supposed to be temporary and experimental.

"It was set up around ten years ago, and no report has ever been received."

When the lights were introduced, the speed sensors were meant to turn them red if drivers broke the 30mph limit in the centre of the village, and to remain red for around 45 seconds.

They were described by Transport Scotland as "an innovation" at the time, with an initial trial period being set at five years.

Amey have been contacted for comment.