Strong support has been voiced for a 20mph speed limit across a whole town, with the belief it will 'improve the environment and help create a safer community.'

Bridport Town Council backs a Dorset Council proposal to implement the speed restriction in Bridport town centre - and has expressed a wish to see it extended beyond the area covered in the plan. 

Pictured below, in blue, are the roads which could be made 20mph if the proposals go ahead. Those in red are existing 20mph zones. 

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

While the town council 'strongly supports' the proposals, it has commented that it would also like to see a number of additions, including joining the proposed 20mph town centre speed limit covering Rax Lane with the whole of Barrack Street and part of St Andrew’s Road, to join with the existing 20mph zone covering Bridport Primary School.

Cllr Dave Bolwell, mayor of Bridport, said: “I and my fellow town councillors are strongly supportive of the proposal to reduce the speed limit in the town centre. Naturally, safety is one of the main reasons for the proposal, and we are aware of several traffic incidents in the recent past that have resulted in serious injury. 

"If you’re a motorist in two minds about the idea, I’d suggest driving at 30mph and imagining how quickly you could stop if a child ran out in front of you. Then do the same at 20mph – the difference in stopping time is stark. 

"It’s not just about saving lives though; the proposal will make for a more pleasant experience for pedestrians. There is the thorny problem of enforcement which is often put forward as a reason for not going ahead with such schemes but there will always be some who break a speed limit regardless of what the limit is."

Town council leader Dave Rickard said: "There have been requests for speed control especially in the town centre for many years but as a town council it was always outside our remit.  So, when Dorset funding was offered there was almost unanimous support for us to put in a bid. What has been offered is not as widespread as we would have liked but we have asked for some additions to the plans, which have been out for consultation, to be considered.

"We had hoped for this to be done as part of our wider plan for town centre management with some hard engineering of increased pedestrian and cycling space coupled with some traffic calming measures and 'gateway features' on entry to central Bridport. This will obviously now have to wait for a second phase to be available. We are determined though to improve the accessibility for all and to improve the ambience of the town centre experience."

The town council's suggested extensions, it says, are to 'better connect with the existing zones, to reduce any confusion for road users, and to reduce the need for additional road signage'. They include: 

1) Joining the proposed 20mph town centre speed limit covering Rax Lane with the whole of Barrack Street, and part of St Andrew’s Road, to join with the existing 20mph zone covering Bridport Primary School.

2) Joining the existing 20mph zone covering Victoria Grove with the zone covering Bridport Primary School by extending the 20mph speed restrictions along Coneygar Road.

3) Joining the proposed 20mph town centre speed limit covering South Street with the existing 20 mph Zone covering St Mary’s School by extending the 20 mph speed restrictions to the bottom of Skilling Hill Road.

Councillors have aspirations for other areas of the town, outside the defined town centre, where they believe the new 20mph restriction would be beneficial for safety reasons:

• An extension to the existing Victoria Grove 20mph zone to include the stretch of Pymore Road outside St Catherine’s Primary School, the only primary school in Bridport that is not covered by a 20mph speed limit. 

• Along West Allington as far as Magdalen Lane and possibly onward beyond Bridport Medical Centre.

BTC has a longer-term objective to make 20mph the default speed limit across the entirety of Bridport.

Mayor Dave Bolwell added: "I urge residents to give their support, or at least their views, by responding to Dorset Council’s consultation, by November 3. There are already 20mph limits successfully in force in Dorset and across the country so this is not a brand new initiative. Please help us to achieve a safer and better town centre area. The town council see this as a starting point and, if successful, we would potentially support moves to see this expanded out in the future to residential areas where people live and children play”.

Residents can provide their own views on the scheme before the deadline of November 3.

Visit and use ‘20mph Various Roads Bridport’ as the reference.