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Watch Your Speed in Ferndown – February update

Report by Ron Cross, CSW Co-ordinator

Watch Your Speed in Ferndown

Last year the community Speedwatch team successfully completed an extensive number of roadside checks across Ferndown and has been recognised by Dorset Police as one of the most active and effective “Watch Your Speed” speedwatch groups in Dorset.   This is largely because they were seen on the roadside by over 30,000 motorists, with many slowing when they saw their speed was being monitored.  The team also increased the number of sessions carried out during commute hours which resulted in them being seen by thousands of motorists living outside of Ferndown.

Ron Cross, our CSW Co-ordinator, said our sole aim is to encourage motorists to regularly check their speed and to discourage motorists from driving at excessive speeds.   We emphasise this by standing on the roadside in hi-viz jackets so deliberately highly visible and clearly noticeable to all passing motorists.  We hope that this provides a strong message to motorists that we simply want them to observe the prescribed speed limits and to slow down if they are driving too fast.

He explained it’s important that everyone regularly checks their speed, particularly motorists that don’t always realise they are exceeding the prescribed speed limit.

Watch Your Speed Volunteers

Ron added our team of volunteers are not speed enforcement officers and importantly we do not issue fixed penalty notices and speeding fines.  Instead we arrange with Dorset Police for any motorist exceeding a speed limit to receive an Advice Letter, making them aware that they were recorded travelling in excess of the prescribed speed limit.   Dorset Police then add the incident details to their records and only take further action where motorists ignore the advice given.

He added pleasingly most motorists that pass us are driving within the prescribed speed limits.  Notwithstanding this last year we still unfortunately reported a substantial number of speeding motorists to Dorset Police with 730 motorists sent at least one Advice Letter by Dorset Police.

This figure has attracted the attention of the Dorset Police who are uncomfortable with the volume of motorists reported and have responded by increasing the number of speed enforcement officers deployed to our area as part of their No Excuse casualty reduction operation.  They have also started to occasionally join us on the roadside so that speeding motorists expecting to simply receive an Advice Letter may instead unfortunately receive a Fixed Penalty Notice and possibly be required to attend a speed awareness course.

Speed Watch Areas

Ron explained that this year we will continue to focus our sessions in six roads, namely Glenmoor Road, Dudsbury Avenue, Church Road, Victoria Road, Ameysford Road and Woodside Road.   He added that we we’ve received considerable support from local residents and still continue to receive a lot of requests from residents asking us to patrol their roads.  Unfortunately, in all cases the residents making the requests are unable to spare any time to help.

He explained that with Ferndown being the largest inland town in Dorset, we would like to expand and run two teams, one in ‘South Ferndown’ and the other covering ‘North Ferndown’.  We are very fortunate to have such an enthusiastic group of volunteers and have a sufficient number for a second team.  Creating a second team would also possibly allow us to patrol a few more roads, where having one team restricts us to six roads.  To achieve this would need a volunteer able to spare a few hours a week with good organisational and administrative skills, so able to maintain a schedule and e-mail roadside returns to Dorset Police.  If this is something that would interest you, please contact Ron on 07592 790199.

February 2020

Vandalised Beryl Bike in Ferndown

You may be wondering what a Beryl bike is. You won’t be alone because the Beryl Bike initiative is still in its infancy.

Berl Bikes at Southbourne
Two Beryl bikes ready to be hired at Southbourne cliff lift

Basically the Beryl Bike initiative is an attempt to provide those in and around Bournemouth and Poole with a cheap, quick and easy way to hire a road bike. The idea is that by encouraging people to cycle (even if they do not have a bike themselves) will have great benefits for the local communities in this part of Dorset. The concept is that a vibrant Beryl Bike scheme would lead to less pollution, less cars and less congestion on our roads, as well as giving the public an option for a quick and cheap way to get about.

Maybe the Beryl bike scheme will work, maybe not. But whatever the final outcome the scheme deserves the opportunity to prove it’s credentials to the public in the same way any other socially focused business enterprise would.

Especially, a scheme like this (or any business or person) deserves to have its property respected. I don’t think anyone reading this blog would disagree with that.

Beryl Bike vandalised and abandoned near Longham
This Beryl Bike was dumped in Longham and it’s seat stolen

Unfortunately though, this is not the case. Many Beryl bikes have been stolen, vandalised and otherwise treated with contempt. Recently a vandalised Beryl bike was found in Green Lane in Longham, so it looks like at least one of these anti-social vandals lives in our community.

Like all crime, this contemptible behaviour is the work of a very few in society. But these few vandals extract a huge toll on both the community and on initiatives like the Beryl Bike scheme. The result is fewer and fewer people and companies put themselves forward with innovative and socially responsible ideas. The end result is that we all suffer.

Evidently the Beryl Bike scheme in Hereford has virtually no vandalism issues. While in Bournemouth and Poole the issue is huge.

If we allow the vandals to destroy initiatives like the Beryl bike scheme then that will be the thin end of the wedge. We all suffer due to the selfishness of a few.

Beryl bike vandalised at Longham
The smashed electronic brake and the vacuously stolen saddle (worth nothing to the perpetrator) are examples of what this company has to put up with in Dorset.

If you see an abandoned Beryl bike please dial 111 and tell the police where it is. Alternatively contact Beryl by: calling Beryl on 020 3003 5044 (7am-9pm Monday to Sunday), or by email at support@beryl.cc

Make plain your displeasure about this mindless vandalism to those that you know. If we all speak up then those responsible may just get the message that anti-social behaviour is unacceptable in Ferndown.

More on the immense problems being faced by Beryl due to theft and vandalism can be found on this report in the Dorset Echo from last October. Also see this on another Beryl Bike vandalised in Wimborne. from this weeks Dorset Echo.