“SPEED limits are there for a reason.” This was the message from a road safety campaigner after nearly a third of vehicles speed-checked on a 30mph New Forest road were caught speeding.
Police and Beaulieu’s SpeedWatch team carried out checks on the B3054 Palace Lane in the village, from 9am to 10am on Saturday.
A total of 169 vehicles drove past during this hour, and 52 of them were found to have been travelling over the speed limit. The highest speed detected was 48mph.
Carried out near the road’s junction with Dock Lane, the operation came towards the end of the national Road Safety Week campaign which ran until Sunday.
A post afterwards on the New Forest Heart Cops Facebook page said: “We set our machine up just after the junction with Dock Lane going up the hill from the village centre to Hill Top.
“In an hour from 9am we surveyed 169 vehicles, and a staggering 52 of them were going over the 30mph limit.”
Although her group was not involved in Sunday’s operation, New Forest Roads Campaign (NFRC) spokesperson Gilly Jones told the A&T it had been concerned for some about the danger posed by speeding motorists in Palace Lane.
“From our point of view and for me living locally to Palace Lane, the main concern is the amount of donkeys and cattle that regularly use that road,” she explained.
“Because of the way that road is, donkeys especially seem to blend into the side of the road.
“Speed limits are there for a reason, and we’d like to remind people that speed limits are there for people’s safety, as well as that of the animals.”
As reported in the A&T, the NFRC gathered troubling results when it carried out recent speed checks on the B3078 Roger Penny Way, between Bramshaw and Fordingbridge. This 40mph route is well-known as the New Forest’s worst blackspot for animal accidents.
During one hour-long check on Wednesday 13th November, 40 of the 200 vehicles which passed the team were speeding, with the top speed being 56mph.
Returning to Roger Penny Way last Wednesday, the NFRC volunteers clocked 20 out of 159 vehicles over the limit. The highest speed on this occasion was 48mph.
Facebook users shared their frustration and thanked police for their enforcement efforts in comments to the New Forest Heart Cops post about Sunday’s Palace Lane operation.
One posted: “That road is terrifying to walk down from Dock Lane into the village, the path is tiny and it feels like every car that passes is well over 30mph!”
Another wrote: “I work at the Countryside Education Trust there and I’m fed up of people tailgating me when I’m doing 30mph, then getting frustrated because I’m turning right.”
PCSO Richard Williams, who was involved in Sunday’s operation, told the A&T: “We hope that our enforcement activities will remind drivers of the importance of keeping within the speed limit and that it will contribute to a reduction in speed and a reduction in the number of injuries to both people and animals.”