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Partnership paints pavement to promote pedestrian safety

The Dorset Road Safety Partnership has painted images and footprints on pavements to encourage people to cross the road in the correct place.

Ten sites were selected across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole which represent locations where pedestrians have sadly been seriously injured when crossing the road within a close distance of an official crossing, but not using it. 

The partnership commissioned local artist Claire Nuttall to design and paint the road safety imagery, which has been installed before and after lockdown. The semi-permanent markings are expected to last around six months. 

The pavement art primarily targets young people and the partnership is working with Age UK in Dorset to raise awareness of road safety among older members of the community too. Together, they’ve produced high visibility shopper bags which are being given away at charity shops in the area. These aim to draw motorists’ attention to pedestrians when using the road network. 

PC Heidi Moxam with the pavement art

Assistant Chief Constable, Sam de Reya, chair of the Dorset Road Safe Partnership, said: “Protecting vulnerable road users is a key priority for Dorset Police and the wider Dorset Road Safety Partnership. 

“This fantastic initiative is the latest activity in our approach to educating all road users to stay safe across the county, supporting our ongoing work to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.

“As well as our education work with pedestrians, we’re also asking motorists to expect the unexpected and always give themselves time to react to those around them; on the road, cycle lane or pavement. 

“Over the last ten years, we’ve worked in partnership to reduce the number of casualties by 20 per cent and while every collision can be devastating, I am pleased that we are making constant progress in making our roads safer.”

Road safety experts from Dorset Police are asking pedestrians to always ensure they use an official crossing where possible, look twice in both directions and only cross when safe to do so. Parents are also encouraged to talk about road safety with their children to heighten their awareness of staying safe on our roads. 

One site which has benefitted from the markings is Wimborne Road in Bournemouth. Over the past ten years, there have been six pedestrians injured while crossing the road, not on an official crossing, but within 50m of the Brassey Road/Victoria Park Road staggered crossing. Two people were seriously injured. 

The pavement street art - a hedgehog with a speech bubble saying follow me

Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder responsible for Transport, said, “Keeping all road users safe across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole is a key priority for BCP Council and our main focus will always be to encourage motorists to be slowing down and watching out for pedestrians. 

“It’s been great to see so many families out walking in their local neighbourhoods and we welcome this playful intervention which aims to support families when talking to young children about the Green Cross Code and encouraging them to use the nearest safe crossing point such as a zebra crossing, if available.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “We must keep developing innovative ways of improving the safety of our roads, and this is an imaginative and eye catching way of helping keep young pedestrians safe. 

“I hope that, combined with the wide range of educational and other road safety schemes taking place, this will help us reduce the number of pedestrians being injured at these locations.”

The full list of sites are: 

•           Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth
•           Bath Road/Exeter Road, Bournemouth
•           Wimborne Road/Braidley Road, Bournemouth
•           Wimborne Road/Victoria Park Road, Bournemouth
•           Barrack Road, Christchurch
•           Sopers Lane, Christchurch 
•           Upwey Avenue/Lake Road (Hamworthy), Poole
•           Commercial Road, Poole
•           Poole Road (Branksome), Poole
•           Longfleet Road/Shaftesbury Road, Poole


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