County highways is under fire for “hiding” a street sign intended to warn drivers about the new 30mph limit stretching from Pinchbeck to Spalding.
Workmen put up the sign on Wednesday, but it was left partly hidden by the branches of a tree and a post.
By Friday morning, the branches had been cut down and dumped on the verge where they dropped.
But county highways said it hadn’t cut down the branches.
The red sign is yards away from St Mary’s Church at Pinchbeck, on a bend on the B1356, and was meant to warn drivers travelling to Spalding that the former 40mph limit had been replaced by a 30.
When the sign first went up, one irate driver, who asked not to be named, said: “Why waste council taxpayers’ money putting up a sign that no one can read and is virtually impossible to see?
“It’s madness. I would love to know how much it cost.
“Much of this road has been a 40mph zone for as long as I can remember and drivers are so used to it being a 40 that they should be properly warned to slow down because people drive by habit.”
A spokeswoman for county highways said: “There wasn’t really a cost because the work was done within the contracted hours, using the existing contract. As a result, there wasn’t a lot of taxpayers’ money spent on it.”
She said the authority was not obliged to put up any signs to warn of the lowered speed limit.
The spokeswoman explained: “When drivers see a 30mph speed limit sign, that’s the speed you are supposed to drive at until you see another speed limit sign.”
She said the sign at Pinchbeck had been put up “as a kind of courtesy”, but it is temporary and is due to be removed in three months’ time.
A similar sign has gone up at the Spalding end of the new limit, but that’s not obscured.
The B1356 is one of the busy commuter routes into Spalding and is heavily used by residents of Donington, Quadring, Gosberton and Surfleet as an alternative to the A16.
County highways has cut the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph – deciding it meets the criteria for a 30 because the road is sufficiently built up on one or both sides between Pinchbeck and Spalding.