Speed Limits In Dorset Are Being Reduced To Cut Emissions

Speed limits in a Dorset village are being cut in order to reduce emissions, following a successful trial. The results may encourage other areas to follow suite…

Dorset Speed Limits Cut 

Following a successful trial, a temporary speed limit in a Dorset village is being made permanent. It was found that the lower limit cut local car-related emissions. The trial, which was conducted over the course of eighteen months, saw the limit along a section of the A35 at the western end of the village of Chideock reduced from 40mph to 30mph.

The trial involved the extensive use of the latest air quality monitoring equipment; not to mention patrols by a dedicated emissions monitoring vehicle. It’s feasible that, following the results, other towns and villages will follow suite; especially given the rise of legal requirements necessitating improved air-quality in many parts of the country.

Better for Air Quality 

Andy Roberts, Highways England route manager for the A35, explained the nature of the trial’s results. He said, “as part of our ongoing work, we undertook and completed a trial that saw additional diffusion tubes installed and an electric-powered van monitoring real-time pollution before and after the speed limit change”. He added, “this identified a small reduction in nitrogen dioxide levels following the reduction of the speed limit and, as a result of the localised air quality benefit, we propose to make the extended 30mph zone a permanent fixture”.

Ray Bryan, a Dorset councillor, welcomed the results. He said, “I’m pleased to hear that the speed trial in Chideock has gone towards helping improve the air quality in the village; and the 30mph speed limit is being made permanent. Due to the challenging topography of the village, the solution to improving air quality on this strategic route depends largely on wide-spread adoption of clean technology and other changes to travel habits”. He concluded, “in the meantime, we will continue to work with our partners at Highways England to monitor emissions in the area and continue to seek ways to further improve air quality for residents”.

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