This Day In 1997 - Villagers Cheer Cash For New Road Safety Scheme


22nd February 2012

Residents of a West Dorset village are celebrating today after winning their fight for road safety after winning their flight for road safety improvements.

Work on a number of schemes in Maiden Newton is set to begin after Dorset County Council agreed to provide extra funding.

Among the improvements will be protection for pedestrian refuges in the village centre, new markings on the main road and the erection of warning signs to motorists.

Villagers, who highlighted traffic safety as their chief concern in a recent Maiden Newton Agenda 21 questionnaire, say they are delighted by the news.

District councillor Eira Harries said: “Any improvements that Dorset County Council are offering must be readily accepted and we welcome them and look forward to their completion.

“However, I know that the parish council, along with many other residents will monitor the situation and seek improvements as and when they can.”

Businessman Tim Pitfield, who runs a butchery and fish and chip shop in Dorchester Road, said: “Traffic certainly causes a problem in the village and it’s likely that it always will. After all, these roads were built for horses and carts, not lorries and cars.

“But this is obviously a step in the right direction for an issue that has been at the heart of Maiden Newton for many, many years.”

Dorset County Council said that the money for the initial works will come from the existing highways budget.

Further improvements, which include pavement widening, a new village footpath and a traffic calming scheme, will be considered when the 1998 budget in discussed later this year.

The decision has also pleased Dorset Agenda 21 chairman, Dave Rickard, who claims it’s a “victory for community spirit.”

He said: “Residents have been calling for action for many years and it just shows what can be achieved when the entire community is focused.

“This is a vindication of the widening of local democracy, which is a crucial element in the local Agenda 21 process.

“Agenda 21 is about building sustainable communities and improving the quality of life as well as saving the planet for future generations.”

[From the Dorset Echo 22-02-1997]

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