Dorset towns and parishes apply for new 20mph limits
Five town and parish councils in the Dorset Council area are a step closer to implementing new 20mph speed limits and zones.
Since the council launched its new scheme in November 2022, 8 applications have been considered by the council’s new 20mph Panel Group.
The successful applications are in:
- Bridport town centre
- Langton Matravers
- Wimborne town centre
- Winfrith Newburgh
The applications are now being assessed for funding. They will then go through a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) public consultation where residents can give their comments, support, or object to the proposals.
An application for Poundbury requires further investigation. Fifehead Magdalen paused their application to consider an alternative application for a Speed Indicator Device, and Fontmell Magna did not meet the required criteria.
All applicants have been notified of the results.
Applications made since 1 March up until 31 August will be considered later this year, with 4 further applications already in the pipeline and another 38 areas expressing an interest.
The council’s road safety manager and local community highway teams have engaged with parish and town councils and Dorset Council councillors, providing guidance throughout the application process.
Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “This initiative is in response to community concerns about road safety and healthy areas in towns and villages.
“We are committed to working with local towns and parishes to promote road safety. Limiting speeds to 20mph where people walk, live and play is one way people can benefit from streets that are healthier and safer.
“The process does not seek to set a 20mph limit as the default for all roads where people and vehicle traffic mix but it takes a consistent approach to dealing with applications, with a policy that is: implementable by considering national guidance; affordable, placing minimum strain on council budgets; and enforceable by the Police.”
Ian Vaughan Arbuckle representing Langton Matravers Parish Council said: “We are delighted to have cleared the first and probably the most difficult hurdle in our quest to get a 20mph limit through the centre of the village: this is something residents have wanted for many years. The new limit will undoubtedly improve the quality of life for residents and make the centre of the village a far safer place.”
Each application is assessed against a set of requirements, and Dorset Council will fund those schemes deemed to be a high priority. Town and parish councils will have the opportunity to self-fund lower priority schemes. If a proposed scheme does not meet the criteria, Dorset Council will work with town and parish councils on alternative ways to promote speed reduction, such as the installation of Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs).
Schemes must offer the maximum benefit for the affected communities. This includes quality of life, healthier lifestyles, sustainability and environmental benefits, alongside other important considerations such as reduction of collisions.
The status of the road in question is also factored into the final decision: for example if it is a strategic route, primarily for the movement of motor vehicles it will not meet the requirements.
Existing speeds are also taken into account, and there should be significant community support for a 20mph limit or zone.
Find out more
The 20mph Panel Group comprises: Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways; Cabinet Lead for Highways and Travel; Transport Planning Team Leader; Transport Planning Implementation Manager, and Road Safety Manager.