Calls for more 20mph zones and quiet lanes across Chichester district

Monday, 21 March 2022 18:11

By Karen Dunn - Local Democracy Reporter

West Sussex County Council is currently reviewing its road safety policy and this will include how it considers speed restrictions and other measures.

Last month, Chichester City Council gave its backing to a default 20mph default limit across its wards where people and vehicles mix. Meanwhile at Chichester District Council, a motion originally put forward by the Lib Dems and Greens and then amended with the help of the Conservatives was unanimously agreed at a meeting on Tuesday (March 15).

It stated the importance of enhanced active travel combined with road safety measures and supported WSCC’s road safety review, which will consider speed limits, quiet lanes and road marking policies. CDC also resolved to consider specific proposals for new 20mph limits and quiet lanes when they are open for public consultation, taking into account factors such as safety, practicality, promotion of active travel, national policies, needs of vulnerable users and air quality impacts.

They will also encourage residents and councillors to report to WSCC worn road markings, damaged or defective road signs and other highway defects and safety issues.

Bill Brisbane (LDem, Chichester East), who put forward the motion, said benefits flowing from lower vehicle speeds in built up areas included reduced noise levels, a decrease in emissions, less need for speed bumps and improvements in the ability of pedestrians to cross roads.
He also highlighted improved safety for car users, cyclists and pedestrians.

He added: “The benefits of reduced speeds on our roads are clear. These benefits underpin the rationale for traffic speed reduction; combined with greater active travel they are to be welcomed by this council.”

Turning to more rural parts of the district, Kate O’Kelly (LDem, Harting) said that communities and residents wanted more of a say about speed limits in their areas and the national limit was ‘not appropriate in many quiet rural roads’.

She suggested that to encourage more active travel they needed to ensure pedestrians and cyclists feel safer.

Several speakers from the Conservative benches mentioned that Tom Richardson, county councillor for Rother Valley, was leading the task and finish group looking at speed limit reduction as a special advisor to the cabinet member.

Simon Oakley (Con, North Mundham and Tangmere) said slowing down of traffic in the right places was of benefit, but each proposal should be judged on its own merits and identified by evidence-based policies with a full understanding of both initial and ongoing funding required to make new measures credible.

Sarah Sharp (Green, Chichester South) said: “It’s about us all discussing what is the appropriate speed that motor vehicles should be driving around vulnerable road users on streets where we go to school, where we shop and where we live.”

She said it was not about expensive re-engineering solutions, but a ‘sign only’ idea.

After the meeting, Adrian Moss Lib Dem group leader at CDC, said “I am already talking to my parish councils and community groups to see how we can make sure more 20mph routes are created.

“We just now need to get on with this for the safety of our residents.”

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