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Speedwatch scheme launched in Highcliffe to slow down traffic

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VOLUNTEERS with speedguns have been out on the roads in Highcliffe in an effort to slow down traffic.

A Community Speedwatch scheme has been introduced to highlight the dangers of driving too fast, which organisers say is particularly important in an area with a high proportion of older people.

A team of eight is monitoring motorists driving through the village, with those observed breaking the law receiving a letter from the police as a result, although no fines will be levied.

Lymington Road in Highcliffe was described as one of the problem routes for speeding
Lymington Road in Highcliffe was described as one of the problem routes for speeding

Cllr Nigel Brooks is responsible for coordinating the scheme in Highcliffe. It was due to start last year but the pandemic meant that training by Dorset Police could not take place.

He told the A&T: “We are operating in six locations that have been risk-assessed by the police as suitable.

“The object really is to highlight to people the dangers of speeding, especially in a place where a large proportion of the population is elderly.

“If they step out into the path of a car they might not be fleet of foot enough to take evasive action if needed.”

He said the locations had to remain confidential but added that Lymington Road was seen as an area “where the 30mph limit is regularly exceeded”.

Details of speeding drivers are collected by the police who carry out checks and send an advisory letter. No legal action is taken.

Cllr Brooks said residents who believed they had a speeding problem in their area could contact the police or the Highcliffe Residents Association requesting that it be included in the Speedwatch scheme.

He said: “We cannot carry out checks after daylight hours. But if people have a problem during those times, then by highlighting that to the police, action can be taken by them if they feel it is necessary.”

Martha Perry, who is the Community Speedwatch coordinator for Dorset Road Safety, said they did not have data yet to see what results the Highcliffe team had achieved.

But she said: “They are currently the only team we have in Christchurch, though we will shortly begin training with a team in Airfield Way.

“Residents in Walkford have also expressed an interest but more volunteers are needed as we want six to start a team.”

She said they needed to be able to monitor regularly and can take on additional roads if residents request it, but it was “important not to dilute their coverage too far”.

Concerns about speeding can be registered online at www.dorsetroadsafe.org.uk

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