Residents are rallying behind a campaign to re-site a speed warning sign on one of the main routes in to Truro.

The flashing sign is on the A390 Tregolls Road, opposite St Paul’s Church, several yards further on from a speed camera, which this year has caught thousands of drivers.

The camera was upgraded in April to monitor speeds across inbound and outbound traffic as well as vehicles passing through red lights.

Superintendent Adrian Leisk warned anyone caught would be likely to be met with a fine of £100 and three penalty points.

In June this year, authorities said 3,366 drivers were caught travelling over the 30mph limit – 3,145 had to go on a speed awareness course while 221 receive either points, a fine or a summons to court.

Philip Desmonde, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said at the time the camera was installed: “Speed cameras play an important role in encouraging motorists to slow down. Everyone can make a positive impact by driving within the speed limit, and these cameras are a valuable tool in educating drivers to slow down.”

But locals say having the flashing sign moved would do more to prevent speeding than catching drivers after they have broken the limit.

Community volunteer Paul Caruana is spearheading the campaign and would also like to see an additional sign on the opposite side of the road.

“The speed cameras are a cash cow for the authorities and a drain on people’s already strapped budgets,” he said. “People do go above the speed limit but they do it subconsciously because it’s a dual carriageway. Truro is quite confusing with various speed restrictions and the impact of being caught even doing two or three miles an hour over a limit can be severe.

“Not only do you face a £100 fine – or in at least one case, the threat of a £1,000 fine – and points on your licence, your insurance can go up and this can be devastating for some.

“If you have gone over the limit, the sign where it is at the moment just rubs salt in the wound. Moving it further up would make sure drivers are reminded and surely prevention is better than punishment – or is it too much of a cash cow?”

People have backed Paul’s appeal saying for so many drivers to be caught out could indicate the speed limit is too low.

One person said: “The dual carriageway is straight with good visibility and wide, sparsely used, pavements on both sides, a scenario that gives drivers who drive to the prevailing conditions the perceived freedom to drive at between 30 and 40 mph along it.

“As far as I’m aware, it’s not been an accident blackspot.”

And another said: “I brought this issue up at a speed awareness course and they said it’s a driver’s responsibility to know the rules. Obviously – but some prompts would help. Surely the purpose is to prevent speeding, rather than just a fine weeks later?”

Cornwall Council said the speed limit on Tregolls Road was amended in 2011 as part of a review of all A and B road speed limits across Cornwall using national and local guidance.

A spokesperson added: “Signs in the area are correct for a 30mph speed limit. 

“As set out in the National Speed Limit Framework, unless signed otherwise a 30mph limit applies wherever there is street lighting, as is the case in Tregolls Road.”