The speed limit on Portland Beach Road will be reduced to 50 mph to make the road safer

The speed limit on Portland Beach Road is set to be lowered after a petition with more than 280 signatures was filed with council.

A Dorset County Council (DCC) panel met last month to consider the petition which called for a speed reduction to make the road between Weymouth and Portland safer.

The petition, hosted by Weymouth resident Tracy Ballentine, said: ‘We are concerned about residents urging DCC to act now to lower the speed limit on Portland Beach Road, making it a safe place for all. ”

At the meeting, councilors agreed that the speed limit should be reduced by 10 mph.

A DCC spokesperson said: “After a discussion with the petitioner, the petition group agreed that a reduction of the speed limit to 50 mph from the national speed limit (60 mph) should be continued. pending support from Dorset Police and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council. ”

Speed ​​limit changes require a traffic control stop (TRO).

There are currently over 100 pending ORR requests in the county that DCC must “prioritize over a limited budget”.

The spokesperson added, “TRO claims are ranked based on their criteria score, and the regulatory team will assess where a 50 mph limit for Portland Beach Road ranks against other current claims.

“The first thoughts are that this area will rank high and could be delivered in the next fiscal year (2018/19).”

Data provided by Dorset Police showed that between September 2012 and August 2017 there were 20 road crashes on Portland Beach – one fatal, eight serious and 11 which resulted in minor injuries.

The latest road traffic survey data, in May 2017, showed the average traffic speed to be 44.5 mph.

However, data showed that between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., the speed of the 85th percentile exceeded 60 mph, which means that more than 15% of motorists are speeding.

The 85th percentile speed defines how fast 85 percent of drivers will drive or below under smooth conditions.

At times of the night, the 85th percentile exceeded 70 mph.

The panel agreed that the data collected indicated the need for an application at particular times of the day and that a request will be made to Dorset Police for the enforcement of the existing speed limit outside of rush hour .

Wyke Regis advisor Kate Wheller said the reason for the move was twofold.

“First of all, it creates a bit of consistency for it to be 50mph along the road instead of 60mph, and then drops to 30mph so quickly.

“Second, due to the build-up of visitors to Chesil and the growth of Billy Winters and water sports in this area, there is a lot more movement at these crossroads for businesses and this piece of road is becoming more dangerous.

“I think it will make it safer for pedestrians.”

The proposal will now be the subject of an initial consultation with stakeholders, including the police and district councilors, before the authority can proceed.

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Sandy A. Greer

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