OXFORDSHIRE County Council trialled what was described as an 'ingenious' traffic calming measure in October 1989, as part of a government scheme.

The new project was given the dummy run (quite literally) when 'Roadside Ron' was unveiled on the A34, between Abingdon and Oxford.

The 6ft fibreglass dummy, which was designed slow speeding drivers, was found to have the desired effect following the three day trial, with a reduction in average speeds.

The council had been approached by the manufacturers to test the 'unofficial traffic aid'.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Transport, said: "It's a bit early to say but initial tests in Oxfordshire do show a reduction in average speeds.

"We might be taking our investigations further."

However road safety bosses admitted they were unsure whether drivers were only slowing down for a better look at the dummy.

Mr David Mingay at the Transport and Road Research Laboratory near Bracknell said: "The tests would take a long time to complete and it's difficult to say whether cars slow down just because they want to have a look at the roadside warning man."