A community scheme in Dorset’s towns and villages is helping to reduce the speed at which road users drive.

A recent evaluation of a village in Dorset with a 30mph speed limit, showed a reduction of measured speeds by over 5mph from 37.1mph to 31.7mph.

Whilst the number of vehicles travelling under the speed limit increased by 529 to 1,204 per day

This has been put down to the Dorset Council Community Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) Programme which was introduced 10 years ago to help slow down drivers.

SIDs are activated as vehicles approach them and display to on coming traffic their speed and other messages.

READ: Signs help curb speeding motorists in dozens of Dorset communities

Cllr Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, said: “I am delighted this scheme has been a success and grown hugely over the past 10 years.

“The figures show the impact the devices have on reducing traffic speeds, something many communities are concerned about, and they contribute towards changing driver behaviour through our towns and villages."

In 2013, council officers Joe Allen and Rob Camp, updated and relaunched the scheme to encourage and support more communities to get involved in road safety.

Since then, 77 communities have signed up to the initiative at 230 locations around the Dorset Council area.

This is expected to rise further, with several more towns and villages at the application stage.

Cllr Bryan added: “My thanks to Joe and Rob who took the opportunity to start the scheme and all the communities who are helping to make a difference and make our roads safer.”

READ: Bridport Town Council strongly supports 20mph town centre

Bridport Town Council supports the use of SIDs as part of a range of measures to reduce speeding in the area, and have one device in in the town. 

Town clerk Will Austin said: "We would like to see more done to encourage walking and cycling, reduce reliance on the car, and make our streets safer. 

"With this in mind we produced an ‘Access & Movement Study’ in 2021, showing how these aims could be achieved with help from Dorset Council as highway authority. 

"One of the first steps in this process was to ask for a 20mph speed limit across the town centre, and we hope to hear shortly whether Dorset Council has approved this request."

Dorset Council oversees the setting up of new SID sites, providing risk assessments and training.

Parish and town councils fund their local programme, owning the devices and are responsible for deploying them.

Representatives of parish/town councils or community organisations who would like to know more about the SID programme should send an email to sids@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

To see Bridport Town Council's Access & Movement Study visit www.bridport-tc.gov.uk/access-and-movement-study-2/