“They have encouraged people to think it is suitable to come through at 50mph,” said Lighthorne villager Keith Sheppard, who’s picked out a number of roads with sharp bends where that speed is too much.

Signs have been pushed over, others have mysteriously disappeared completely, and villagers are stepping out on to the roads in high-visibility jackets to deter motorists from speeding.

Others say the red speed limit signs are an eyesore in their beautiful countryside.

“I am not concerned about the aesthetics of it myself,” said 75-year-old Keith, who’s lived in Lighthorne for 25 years. “It is just a waste of money and doesn’t increase road safety whatsoever.”

The total cost of each sign is – according to parish councillors – approaching £1,000.

Mr Sheppard is particularly infuriated by the “repeater” 50mph signs, some of them in ridiculous places.

The Bishop’s Gorse junction on the Wellesbourne Road just outside Lighthorne has a sharp right-angle bend in it. Two shiny new 50mph signs (pictured above) greet motorists as you approach the turn.

“Which makes everybody approaching the sign think this is going to be fine,” said Keith.

“Rather than making the place safer as they intended they’ve made it more hazardous.”

The 50mph signs have also encouraged employees from Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin in Gaydon to use Lighthorne as a rat run to their plants.

“There’s always been a short cut through the village,” explained Keith. It’s just now, instead of seeing a single-track country lane, motorists see the 50mph speed limit and think it must be a major road.

This week Jaguar Land Rover were in the village counting cars. Both car giants have told villagers they’re going to help them keep Lighthorne safe.

Simon Prescott, from Traffic and Road Safety at the council said the signs were introduced after residents said they wanted speed limits reduced.

The roads in the Lighthorne area were reduced after residents from Kineton complained about the Kineton to Gaydon road.

“There’s nothing in the sign saying you should drive up to that limit,” added Simon.