20mph speed limit gets the green light in Lewes

Lewes is to become a 20mph zone for traffic from as early as next month.

Speed limits will be reduced across most of the town centre in an attempt to make the area safer, cleaner and quieter.

The plans were unanimously agreed by members of East Sussex County Council’s Planning Committee.

The county council unveiled the proposals to residents and businessesin June last year. More than 350 responded to the “informal consultation” with 78 per cent supporting the new limit.

Lewes Councillor Ruth O’Keeffe said she was delighted at the decision and that the scheme had widespread support. She said: “I think it is perfect for a town centre such as Lewes. Most people drive sensibly anyway but this will act as a reminder to those who don’t.”

Council transport bosses estimate the average speed of traffic in town is currently 24mph.

As a result, the scheme will be introduced without changes such as cameras or new road humps. Instead, a series of 20mph signs will be installed.

Most of the town centre roads north of the High Street will be subject to the limit.

The likes of Market Street, West Street, Eastgate Street and North Street will all be in the 20mph zones along with Little East Street, East Street, Albion Street and Sun Street. Additionally, a small pocket of roads to the south west of the centre are to be included such as Bell Lane, Jugg’s Close, Jugg’s Road and Kingston Road.

Rupert Club, the council’s Director of Economy, Transport and Environment, told the committee: “The 20mph speed limit scheme, which Lewes Town Council has agreed to partially fund, aims to improve the living environment in the town centre with particular benefits for pedestrians and cyclists.”

Cllr O’Keeffe added: “One of the reasons these schemes are popular is because they don’t cost a great deal of money.

“The Town Council will be spending something like £5,000 for signs and road painting.”