Residents warned securing 20 is Plenty measures to tackle speeding in New Milton could be a long fight
RESIDENTS were warned there would be “a good old fight” to bring in 20mph limits on roads plagued by speeding in New Milton.
The route through Bashley was the main focus at a full town council meeting as villagers called for measures to tackle motorists flouting the 30mph speed limit and endangering pedestrians.
One councillor claimed the speeding had even partly deterred a local stables from running rides out onto the New Forest.
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Mark King told councillors speeding along the B3058 Bashley Road and Bashley Common Road left many terrified of walking to the local shop.
“A couple of long-term residents, both using walking sticks, struggle to walk to the village shop and get onto the grass verge quick enough with all the cars racing past,” he said.
“A 20mph sign as you enter Bashley would send a clear message that you need to take care.
“Average speeds of 20-30mph are usually the outcome of 20mph signs, and this would make a massive difference to village life.”
Villagers also wanted more regular placement of speed limit reminder signs (SLRs) and checks by Speedwatch volunteers.
They pointed to the 20 is Plenty safety campaign but were warned approval for a new limit was needed from Hampshire County Council as highways authority, which could be a complex process.
Cllr Steve Clarke and fellow Bashley ward member Cllr Neil Tungate have sought to address speeding there for several years.
But Cllr Clarke stressed 20 is Plenty was a wider issue that should also be considered for other parts of New Milton, such as Becton Road, Osborne Road, Whitefield Road and Station Road.
Referring to Bashley’s issue, Cllr Clarke claimed that Phil Cremer, owner of Burley Villa School of Riding in Bashley Common Road, had stopped running Forest horse rides.
“This is partly because of Covid, but also because he thinks traffic has become so dangerous that he can no longer offer that service,” he said.
“So that’s a business that’s been affected by this.
“Neil and I had to walk from Redcliffe garden centre to the post office, but it felt like you took your life in your hands.”
He added: “Bashley Common Road and Bashley Road are dangerous roads. Local residents cannot walk to the shop safely. Therefore I see some merit in recommending 20 is Plenty, particularly around the post office.”
Physical restrictions would have to compliment the measure, Cllr Clarke said, but he stressed these should not include speed bumps. Pinch points were preferred.
Referring to a portrait of a child used alongside 20 is Plenty signage in Lyndhurst, Cllr Steve Davies suggested this could prove effective in Bashley and elsewhere in New Milton.
Cllr Tungate added: “We need to do something, and it’s going to be a good old fight just like the original 30mph campaign.”
Cllr Geoff Blunden said a review of all areas requiring the 20 is Plenty measure was needed to build a case for HCC.
Town mayor Cllr Keith Craze concluded: “I hope the public realise that it will be a long task.
“Hampshire highways have the final say. We have to work with them, which we’ll do over the coming time.”
As reported in the A&T, HCC formed a taskforce earlier this year for a six-month review into whether the county’s existing 20mph zones should remain and where else might need them.