Engineering in Dorset County Council (DCC)
Dorset County Council's Traffic Engineering Team are responsible for the following:
• Setting the speed limits
• Weight restrictions
• Traffic calming
• Road signs and markings
• Parking restrictions
• Traffic signal equipment
• Traffic regulation orders
• Pedestrian crossings
Requests for any of the above must be made through your Town or Parish Council; requests from individual members of the public cannot be accepted. To find out how to contact your town or parish council, see www.dorsetforyou.com/parishcouncils
The Council is required to follow strict criteria when considering introducing different restrictions and it is not feasible or realistic to implement all requests.
With limited budgets in the current financial climate, we have to carefully plan our work and where there is a history of recorded collisions on a road, these sites will be prioritised.
We can only advise and investigate issues on the public highway. Private accesses, such as driveways adjoining the public highway and unadopted roads are the responsibility of the land owner, not the County Council.
More information is available at http://www.dorsetforyou.com/roads/trafficmanagement
Speed is a significant factor in about one third of road accidents in the United Kingdom. This is particularly so in urban areas, where speeding vehicles can adversely affect the quality of life of many communities.
Speed limits are introduced to ensure greater road safety.
Measures for influencing the speed of vehicles generally fall into two categories, legislative and physical. Speed limits fall into the first category whereas traffic calming devices would fall into the second. Comprehensive information on the speed limits that you would expect to come across on the different category of road is given in chart form in The Highway Code.
Getting a speed limit lowered, raised or extended
If you would like a speed limit to be lowered, raised or extended, please contact your local Council. Your request will then be assessed based on the nationally agreed criteria .
The police view on a change to a speed limit is important and will be sought. Account should also be taken of the characteristics of the road, such as its alignment, the level of activity alongside the road, the accident record and the degree of severance caused to a community by the speed of vehicles.
In urban areas, speed limits should fit into a rational and easily understood hierarchy if they are to be observed by drivers. Before deciding to change an existing speed limit the Highway Authority must consider all the relevant factors such as;
- expected accident savings.
- improvement to the environment.
- improvement in amenities.
- reduction in public anxiety.
- improved facilities for vulnerable road users.
- delays to traffic.
- costs of implementation.
- costs of engineering measures and their maintenance.
- costs of enforcement, especially where the speed limit is regarded as unreasonable by drivers.
If it is considered that a change in the speed limit is warranted then a new Speed limit Order has to be made. This involves a statutory legal process that can take up to 9 months to complete.
Please note that if the road in question has a system of street lighting on it with no speed limit repeater signs the road is already subject to 30mph and as such the Highway Authority is not permitted to place 30mph repeater signs on it. The system of street lighting in a built up area is deemed to be sufficient evidence of a 30mph limit.
For further reading, see Department for Transport Publications - Setting Local Speed Limits