Drivers should now slow down sooner as they approach Swanage along the A351 road from Harmans Cross, following the reduction in the speed limit from 40 mph to 30 mph.
The installation of the new 30 mph signs by Dorset Council was completed on Friday 4th November 2022 after the new traffic regulation order came into effect at the beginning of the month.
Motorists driving into Swanage on Friday afternoon spotted the new signs and slowed down
40 mph signs have been replaced
Previously the speed limit along the A351 Valley Road from Harmans Cross was 40 mph just before the junction to Langton Matravers, before slowing further to 30 mph by the entrance to St Mark’s CoE primary school and The Swanage School.
Now the 40 mph signs have been replaced with 30 mph ones, meaning that motorists should be driving at no more than 30 mph when approaching the Langton junction.
Equally motorists heading out of Swanage shouldn’t increase their speed to more than 30 mph until they have passed the Langton junction, which should give motorists more time to spot whether the cows are crossing the road, on their way to be milked.
Cows regularly cross the A351 road at milking time
The junction of Valley Road with the turning to Langton Matravers was controversially redesigned by Dorset Council
Controversial redesign of the Langton junction
The speed reduction decision was a consequence of requests from Langton Matravers Parish Council to make the junction of the A 351 Valley Road with the turn off to the village safer.
As a result Dorset Council controversially redesigned the junction to slow traffic as it navigated the turn.
It also added a pedestrian island crossing, to help school children and adults cross the road at the junction.
40 mph in October 2022
30 mph by November 2022
Improve road safety
Following complaints that the junction redesign meant that lorries, buses and fire engines had to drive on the wrong side of the road to turn in and out of the Langton Matravers road, the safety of the junction was reassessed by Dorset Council.
In April 2021 a safety audit was completed and Dorset Council concluded that alterations to the junction weren’t necessary but lowering the speed limit from 40 mph to 30 mph would improve road safety.
Following a public consultation in summer 2022, the decision was made by Dorset Council to implement the change.