road safety

Twenty’s plenty for Broadwindsor

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Campaigners are shifting up a gear in a bid to reduce the speed limit through Broadwindsor.

They are urging people to sign their petition on the 20s Plenty for Broadwindsor website, which states: ‘Our aim is for Broadwindsor Village to have a 20mph default speed limit where people live.

‘Since the closure of Beaminster Tunnel, the traffic in and around the village has increased in size and speed.

‘We would like to ensure that everyone in our lovely village is protected from traffic especially as we have few and narrow pavements.

‘We should all be able to walk to school, meet in the pub and pop to the great new community store safely without dodging speeding vehicles.

‘Why?- 95% reduction in risk to walkers and cyclists – Also more walking and cycling, less pollution, less noise, less fear and a better quality of life.’

Villager Susanna Newall, who is spearheading the campaign, says on the website:

‘There seems to have been a request for a reduction in the speed limit in Broadwindsor Village for as long as most villagers can remember. Some of us are fairly new to the village and adore its beautiful location, fantastic sense of community and a fair share of history. We have been welcomed with open arms and wouldn’t consider living any where else.

‘The traffic has always been a bit of a problem, however, exacerbated by the lack of pavements. Believe me, it’s not easy trying to keep hold of two extremely lively boys walking (or shall I say hopping, skipping and general jumping!) on their way to school each day whilst HGVs, people late for work, tractors, people driving with a mobile phone in their shoulder, boy racers to name but a few, all whizz past at what seems an alarming rate of knots!

‘Some have even been kind enough to gesture to me that I’m in their way…

‘Myself and other mums in the village have resorted to using the park as a means of avoiding the traffic, only to be met with a car park , a strong gate and several steps back onto the road again – not easy with a pushchair and a toddler. Even on the approach to the school, white vans hurtle past at great speed, not recognising the fear in parents’ eyes and seemingly oblivious to the children as young as four as they skip to the ‘sweetie shop’.

‘So..the parish council was approached and asked what could be done.

‘They said it was a very long standing issue and that the county council had agreed in principle to the reduction in the limit but that they couldn’t fund it. The parish council apparently stated that they would pay for small measures to be put in place to which the county council refused.

‘I then wrote to Oliver Letwin to arrange a meeting with himself and other people from the village and Rebecca Knox, county councillor for the Beaminster Division. Everyone agreed – and was supported by the Parish Plan – that a 20 mph limit should encompass the whole of the village.

‘Rebecca Knox spoke to the Highways Authority, in particular Andrew J Brown, Matthew D Piles and Richard Stubbs and their response was unsatisfactory to say the least.

‘In response to being advised that the parish council and the villagers could fund any possible scheme, Andrew Brown stated that they do not accept monies to move schemes up the list.

‘He also stated that there is no casualty record in Broadwindsor and there is no evidence of excessive speeding.

‘I for one feel that the “we can’t do anything without casualties” argument is inhumane and backward and there is certainly massive evidenced concern about speeding in the village.

‘So I have started this campaign to see if we can speed up this epic tale of apathy and disregard to human life. We need to show those who we pay to serve us that we are the ones they should listen to, and not the other way round and let us believe that they possess an ounce of common sense.’

To sign the petition, go to the website.