Residents are calling for the speed limit of a ‘treacherous’ and ‘dangerous’ lane to be reduced to 20mph.

Crock Lane resident Emma started a petition to see how many people shared her views that the lane behind Sea Road South in Bridport should be reduced from 30mph due to speeding drivers and the route being used as a shortcut.

She has also put up 20mph limit posters along Crock Lane.

She said: “I was pleased to find that everyone I have spoken to agrees that 30mph is too fast and residents are fed up with our lane being used as a shortcut, especially in the summer.

“I feel very strongly about this as I walk the lane on a daily basis with my dog and I feel vulnerable when speeding cars pass me in such close proximity as there are no footpaths.

“The lane is also heavily populated with families with young children and is frequented with horse riders. There is also Juniper House, a residential/respite home for children and young adults with disabilities.

“Not only would 20mph be beneficial for the safety of residents, it would also be a deterrent for anyone using the lane as a shortcut or bypass. It is after all called Crock Lane and not ‘Crock Road’ which means it is not suitable for heavy or fast traffic.

“The traffic seemed especially bad this summer and on one occasion I counted 81 cars passing through the lane in just a 20 minute window because of heavy traffic elsewhere in the town.”

Lesley Brooks, also a resident of Crock Lane, agrees that the speed should be reduced.

“I think it should be five or 10mph on the corner [from Asker Mead into Crock Lane] especially when there are wheelchairs or pushchairs in the road, he said.

“Maybe some people don’t know it is going to be so sharp, so maybe a road sign warning people would help.

“Most local people are fine, but there are some people that go fast and use it as a cut through.

“I am really supportive, I do think it should go to 20mph. I have cut the front of my garden back so people can step in when cars go past.”

Graham Joy, who has lived in Crock Lane for 20 years, said it has got worse over the years.

“As soon as the road is busy [Sea Road] you’ve got them all here.

“It’s definitely worse in the summer. People use it as a shortcut, which I have nothing against, but people can come along quite quickly.

“When I walk the dog, I do have to dive in a bit quick,” he said.

“I have spoken to two or three people about getting sleeping policemen, but I am not sure it will work.

“Something definitely needs doing. They could put a no access to A35 sign in to stop people using the road when using sat navs.”

However, it was reported at a recent meeting of Bothenhampton and Walditch Parish Council that councillors have been told by Dorset Council that the lane is actually 60mph, despite 30mph signs painted on the road, and that street lighting is ‘not relevant anymore’ when deciding a speed limit. It was also reported that the authority ‘won’t consider a 20mph limit unless it is 30mph’.

Traditionally, if a road had streetlights, motorists should assume it was 30mph unless otherwise stated.

Emma added: “I am absolutely appalled that any organisation can believe the speed limit in Crock Lane is registered at 60mph.

“Although the councillors have contacted the relevant organisations to begin the process of lowering the speed limit, I don’t feel they are overly concerned with the news of a 60mph limit.

“I believed that any residential area with street lighting means

an automatic speed limit of 30mph, but they said this rule no longer applies.”

Pauline Chandler, a resident of Crock Lane, was also surprised when she heard it was a 60mph limit.

“I find that extraordinary,” she said. “You can see there are cars parked along one side of the lane - it’s not a road - it’s quite dangerous.

“We have dog walkers, families with prams and you do have to dive in quite quickly when cars come along. It should be 20mph, not 60mph, the way they come down here. It’s quite treacherous.”

Another resident, Margaret Foster, said: “If it is built up and there are street lights then it’s 30mph, they override the 60mph.

“On driver awareness courses they go on and on about built up areas with street lights being 30mph - it’s ridiculous.”

A spokesperson for Bothenhampton and Walditch Parish Council said: “The parish council were surprised that Crock Lane had been designated a 60mph zone by Dorset Council highways, especially as there are at least three 30mph road markings all the way up the lane.”

Cllr Ann Langridge said: "There are also two street signs specifying a 30mph limit at the A35 exits onto Crock Lane / Hollow Way. 

"There was no reason for the parish council to believe the speed limit was anything else and we were surprised to find out this is not the case.

"Highways have stated emphatically that the limit on the lane is 60mph and this first must be officially reduced to 30mph before a 20mph limit can be considered. 

"This has been pursued by the parish council but we have no control over the process or the timetable other than to request it is actioned as soon as possible."

However, Dorset Council confirmed that Crock Lane does have a 30mph limit.

Part of Crock Lane is due to be closed from November 20 to December 3 in order for BT to carry out works.