COULD this road be a sign of the times? Or is there a limit to the number of speed restrictions there should be at one junction?

Marsh Fold Lane, in Heaton, now has at least five speed limit signs within yards of each other — including one 30 mph sign leading into a back street.

The arrangement has baffled motorists and residents alike.

Bill Appleyard, aged 70, said: “To be fair there has not been one speeding offence committed since the 30 mph sign was put up on this 38 metre long back street.

“Congratulations to whoever sanctioned this — it is madness.

“To have so many in such a small area must be quite confusing for drivers who could be distracted.”

Bolton Council said the decision about putting up the signs rests with the Department for Transport.

A spokesman said: “We have no flexibility or discretion on how and where these signs are placed.

“While we agree that this signage looks excessive, we have to comply with national government regulations.”

Mr Appleyard, who lives in nearby Lincoln Road, also queried the cost of the signs.

He added: “When you think of all the examples in back streets across Bolton, you must be talking about a small fortune and it probably takes a couple of people to put the signs up too.

“I just think it is absolute madness when you see things like Animal World being shut. It doesn’t make sense to me.”

The council said the signs in Marsh Fold Lane were bought by a developer with no cost to the council taxpayer.

Alwynne Cartmell, a campaigner for the Twenty’s Plenty movement, which aims to get a 20mph speed limit for Bolton’s residential and urban streets, said: “The signs are key to changing drivers habits and making sure everyone slows down — and I really think they do work.

“I think it would cost a lot more to the taxpayer if someone was knocked over by a speeding car in terms of hospital treatment.”