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UK Road Sense, Dorset Way / A3049 50 limit

Dear Mr Garrett,


Thank you so much for your response. It makes it so much easier to understand the DSCP’s thinking when it is willing to respond to the concerns of the public. Perhaps the DSCP should generally be a bit more open and willing to stand up for it’s operations, then perhaps situations like this would not develop to this extent.


Thank you for clarifying some of the facts (points 1, 2, 5, 6, 7).  There remain a few points that I’d like to respond to, to help you to understand us, the community.


Point 3: It is understood that the offence rate is a small percentage of traffic movements, but this is not surprising. The bulk of traffic will pass at peak times when all will move at the speed of the slowest vehicles. And when the traffic flows more freely, the majority of drivers who are “tuned in” to the speed camera problem, will pass the junction at 30 then put their foot down again. Only the slowest drivers who don’t make a habit of checking their speed because their driving has always been below natural safe road speeds and well below limits are likely to be caught.


Point 4: 30 MPH is NOT the correct speed for this road. See http://ha.boroughofpoole.com/committeedocuments/agendas_minutes_reports_get_file.asp?f=%2Fcommitteepdf%2Freport%2Ftransportation+advisory+group%2Ftag121020063speed+limits.doc.pdf


In particular, “There are a few locations, such as the 30mph dual carriageway section of Holes Bay Road, where there could be pressure for an increase in the limit as part of this exercise. An average speed of 36mph would indicate that a 40mph limit may be more

suitable, however there are many other factors which would have to be taken into consideration before such a change could be contemplated. This might include, for example, consideration of the cost of increasing the size of all traffic signs which are presently designed for 30mph roads.”


So the only reason the 30 limit is in place is the cost of changing the signs to 40!!! Why then were they made 30 in the first place??? Someone GOT IT WRONG!!!


Quite apart from the fact that this road simply cannot be compared to normal 30 limit streets, which are typically narrow, with houses, shops, parked cars, pavements close to the road, many junctions, children and animals, etc, it’s actually just COMMON SENSE. There are plenty of documents which explain the importance of not having limits to low, for example http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/speedmanagement/dftcircular106/dftcircular106.pdf, and in particular, “Indeed, if a speed limit is set in isolation, or is unrealistically low, it is likely to be ineffective and lead to disrespect for the speed limit. As well as requiring significant, and

avoidable, enforcement costs, this may also result in substantial numbers of drivers continuing to travel at unacceptable speeds, thus increasing the risk of collisions and injuries.”


To answer your final points: You are quite right, motorists should obey the posted speed limit. But where there is a serious problem with a speed limit, as you were aware before the speed on green started, an investigation is needed to solve a problem. The correct solution in this case would have been to raise the limit. The wrong solution was to rigidly enforce the limit that obviously was not working for blindingly obvious reasons.


We now face 50 limits along the Dorset / Canford Way, even though the existing 50 limit at the top of Holes Bay is completely ignored. Why extend something that ALREADY ISN’T WORKING?


But, the worst part of it all is the work not being done, I hope you have seen my video which shows 1 bad driving event a minute: http://www.belchamber.net/movie.wmv . The DSCP only seems to turn up where a large number of fines can be collected in the minimum time, not where there is a safety problem. This contributes greatly to the impression that all you have to do while driving is to slow for the speed cameras, not drive safely.


So, those who don’t exceed the limit don’t get fined, that does not mean that those who speed the worst get fined, or that the DSCP is producing the right end results.


To add this up, we have: Safe drivers being fined and livelihoods being threatened for no benefit to road safety (or anything else) at a location where the speed limit is too low, while dangerous drivers (including dangerous speed) are free to do whatever they want, and consequently, quite probably, people being killed and seriously injured who not be if the DSCP were properly focusing on road safety.


THAT is why we, the community, are angry.


Regards, Ian Belchamber