Calls for speeding crackdown in Bridport

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CALLS for speed cameras on Sea Road South and for Bridport to become a “zero tolerance zone” for speeding were made at the Bridport Town Council meeting recently.

Following the death of Bridport man Steve Spear – for who a one minute’s silence was held before the meeting – as a result of a car crash on Sea Road South last month, a local resident (who does not want to be named) urged town councillors to put speed cameras on that stretch of road, between the two roundabouts at The Crown and the Esso filling station.

She said: “In the accident, people were allegedly speeding incredibly fast along the road.

“Sea Road South itself is a very long, straight road and has five small entrances going onto it, three of which have a lot of residential housing with elderly people and children, and there is only one (traffic controlled) crossing near the fire station.

“I think something should be done to try and prevent people from speeding along it during the day and night.

“In particular, in terms of the accident involving Mr Spear, I really think there are a lot of people who drive around at night extremely fast and we don’t have the police presence to stop that from happening.”

She said she knew this was the case as when she was in an car collision in the summer, she phoned the police, who told her they only attend collisions in which someone is injured.

However, a spokesperson for Dorset Police said that police attendance depends on the circumstances surrounding the collision.

They said: “For example, a damage only collision, where the road is blocked, would attract police attendance to ensure that the road is opened and that those people involved are safe.

“A minor injury collision may not require police attendance. For example, if it was a slight rear end shunt, but would be recorded if those involved reported it to police.”

The resident added: “There is nothing to deter people from driving recklessly around the town at night, which is what happened and now someone has died.

“Ideally I think we should have speed cameras throughout the town, but if we are going to put them anywhere, I suggest Sea Road South.

“I live in Main Street where Mr Spear was coming out of, so I have a personal interest, but I think it is more for the good of the town to deter these people where we don’t have the police available to prevent it from happening.”

Cllr Ros Kayes called for Bridport to become a “zero tolerance zone” for speeding and proposed that the council formally request Dorset County Council as the highway authority to consider the possibility of a speed camera on the road before bringing it to the A35 working group, which is chaired by West Dorset MP Sir Oliver Letwin.

She said: “I think we absolutely have to make it clear that Bridport is a zero tolerance zone for people enacting fantasies based on racing games and trying to be cool driving at 100mph down East Street and Sea Road South, which was the reported speed this car that killed my friend Steve Spear was doing.

“That is not clever. It’s absolutely pathetic and has to be zero tolerance.

“We have to say, have some respect for the people in this town – it is dangerous, pathetic and childish.”

The proposal for Bridport town centre to have a 20mph speed limit was overall supported by residents in the town council’s Bridport town centre consultation, which also included the possible trial pedestrianisation of the top of South Street.

Cllr Sarah Williams said: “I am very pleased the majority supported the idea of a 20mph speed limit throughout the town. I know quite a few comments came back saying, ‘we can’t do 20mph anyway’. I think we have heard tonight that people can drive faster than 20mph around this town.

“People are racing their cars in the evening – can we please hurriedly do this 20mph speed limit in this town and the speed camera on Sea Road South.”

New councillor, Derek Bussell, said that there is no point having speed restrictions if they cannot be enforced and urged the council to pursue enforceable restrictions.

Bridport & Beaminster Reporter| Lottie is currently studying for an NCTJ Diploma in Journalism through a distance learning course and joined the paper in April 2014 on a freelance basis, becoming a staff reporter in January 2015. She is now the reporter for the View From Bridport and View From Beaminster papers.

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