CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after the speed limit on a major route will be reduced to make it safer.

Efforts have been made for years to try and get the speed limit brought down on the A354 Portland Beach Road.

Local councillors had been consulted on the move but it was not known when the limit would be cut on the causeway.

Dorset Council has now issued a public notice confirming the change from the national speed limit of 60mph to 50mph. A map accompanying the notice shows it affects a stretch between Ferrybridge and just before the Osprey Quay Roundabout near the Shell petrol station.

The new speed limit will come into operation on Friday, December 1.

The road has seen three fatal collisions in recent years and there is also an adjacent cycle path running alongside with no physical barrier separating bicycles and vehicles.

Dorset Echo:

The proposal to reduce the speed limit has received vocal support from Portland and Weymouth councillors alike and there have been calls to reduce the speed for several years.

Portland town councillor Pete Roper said: "We have had a number of incidents on the road the past few years and this is just one initiative to try and reduce the speed and hopefully reduce the number of accidents.

"I think it is common sense, to be honest. It has been a long time coming and I am just glad it is here. There have been some terrible tragedies on that road so hopefully this helps to stamp that out."

Dorset Echo:

Fellow councillor Jim Draper said: "We were consulted about this a while ago and I am pleased it has at last come through.

"The road is not one you should be racing on. It only makes about a 10-second difference, there is no gain to be driving faster. The new speed is safer and better for the planet.

Information from an FOI request by the Echo indicates that there have been 19 fatal or serious crashes in the last 10 years on Portland Beach Road including three fatalities.

The road's location adjacent to Chesil Beach and the sea means that conditions are often sub-par with additional hazards.

Dorset and Weymouth town councillor for Wyke Regis Kate Wheller said: "I am pleased that the speed limit has been reduced. There are more and more pedestrians there so I think it is a good idea to improve the safety."

Several years ago a petition was set up requesting that the limit be lowered - but was followed by a counter-petition asking for it to remain at the National Speed Limit, meaning the proposal was not progressed. 

A Dorset Council spokesperson said: “The reduced speed limit of 50mph is being introduced for the safety of all road users along this stretch of Portland Beach Road which has a cycle lane running alongside, two busy car park entrances, one with a café/bar and fitness centre and many water sport enthusiasts that cross the road with their equipment.

 “It’s an important road for many people but sadly there have been serious and fatal collisions.  By reducing the speed limit, we aim to make this stretch safer for all.  Nevertheless, we also urge motorists to drive responsibly and according to the conditions of the road, prioritising the safety of themselves and others."