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Speeding ‘not cause of accidents on A31’, says report
The finding is contained in a study on which Stephen Hammond, Under Secretary of State for the Department of Transport, relied in turning down requests for a 50mph speed limit trial on the road.
“We all agree that the central issue is road safety and that improving safety for road users is our priority,” he said in a letter to Ringwood councillors.
“With regard to a 50mph speed limit trial, the study findings clearly show that the vast majority of collisions occur during periods of heavy or stationary traffic, with only three per cent being attributed to vehicle speed (drivers travelling too fast for the conditions).
“For this reason, and given that the (Highways) Agency estimates that a trial would cost over £1million, I have taken the decision not to proceed with a speed reduction trial.
“Although I realise this may come as a disappointment to you, the evidence suggests that this is the correct conclusion.”
However he did agree that a number of improvements could be made to signs along the 70mph road, which has a number of junctions. And these should be in place by summer 2014.
“This should lead to reduced driver confusion, thus reducing driver error and the associated weaving manoeuvres that often cause collisions,” he said.
Cllr Sophie Burgess-Kennar, chairman of Ringwood Town Council’s planning, town and environment committee, which discussed the issue on Friday, said: “Our main disappointment is the speed limit.
“We all know how dangerous that bit of road is.
“We don’t want people to think we are giving up.
“We are just trying to get the best possible outcome that we can.”
The committee is recommending to full council that a working party of three members liaises with the Highways Agency over signage to get the best option.
It recommends they take no further action over the speed limit at this stage but pursue a better standard of road.
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