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car speedFive Dorset towns and villages have the approval to proceed with the introduction of 20mph zones or speed limits.

The town or parish councils for Langton Matravers, Bridport, Wimborne, Pimperne and Winfrith successfully applied to Dorset Council in 2023 for the new limits and zones.

Residents gave their comments, support, or objections to the applications through a process called a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) consultation.

Installation of the new signs will begin in April in these towns and villages.

Further applications for Okeford Fitzpaine, Child Okeford, Milborne St Andrew, Winterborne Kingston, Cheselbourne and Wimborne (Allenview Road/Burts Hill) are now being assessed by Dorset Council. Later this year, people will be able to give comments, support or objections to these applications through TRO consultation. Further details will be publicised at the time.

Town and parish councils have been able to apply for 20mph speed limits and zones, following the introduction of Dorset Council’s 20mph policy in 2022. The issue has also been raised by councillors on Gillingham Town Council.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: ‘The policy has provided officers with a framework for dealing with community led requests.

‘We offer advice and support to local towns and parishes seeking to improve and promote road safety, whether through 20mph limits and zones, or other suitable approaches.

‘This initiative is in response to community concerns about road safety and healthy areas in towns and villages. It seeks to ensure that 20mph schemes give the maximum benefit for the affected communities within urban areas and village streets that are primarily residential, to ensure greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists and those using a mobility scooter, wheelchair, or similar mobility aid.’

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.

Residents interested in the introduction of new 20mph speed limits in their local area should contact their town or parish council or local Dorset councillor.

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