MOTORISTS were left surprised, baffled and confused after 50mph speed limit signs appeared on Friday morning.

The new signs are in place on the northbound and southbound carriageway between Cooper Dean and north of Blackwater.

Drivers told the Daily Echo they were given no warning from the council.

It was confirmed by Dorset County Council:

  • The new 50mph speed runs for 1.4km to the Dorset County Council/Bournemouth Borough Council Boundary.
  • Lane widening is set to take place on the A338 - less than two years after major work on the Spur Road was completed. 
  • This is the reason for the temporary 40mph limit (see below).
  • A temporary 40mph limit on the road - due to come into place on Sunday - is not related to the new 50mph limit.

The signs appear to be permanent.

A temporary 40mph speed limit is due to come into place on Sunday night at 8pm on the A338, a public notice said.

The temporary order said it would be in place for 18 months, until February 9, 2020. 

This is to allow for major maintenance works and improvement works, including lane widening and repairs to bridges.

It said the limit would be on both sides of the carriageway between the quarry and Cooper Dean.

This includes the slip roads and the speed limit will be implemented when work is being carried out by engineers and covers are off the 40mph signs.

Despite requests since Wednesday for further information from the authority on the temporary speed limit order, a statement was only provided at 5pm on Friday.

A spokesperson said Bournemouth Borough Council was leading on traffic measures and works relating to the Spur Road.

The Daily Echo requested details on the new 50mph speed limit and public notice.