Appeal for speed limit to end ‘risky anomaly’ on Station Road in Lewes

Station Road, Lewes
Station Road, Lewes
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An appeal was made this week for a speed limit to be introduced in a potentially dangerous Lewes highway.

It came in the form of an open letter to Carl Maynard, the Lead Member for Transport and Environment at East Sussex County Council.

It was written by concerned members of Lewes Living Streets Group, Joyce Bell and Kevin Moore, and drew attention to the problem in Station Road.

They called on the county council to include Station Road in the new 20mph area for Lewes.

The stretch outside the busy railway station is naturally the scene of many pedestrian and vehicles movements throughout the day.

The letter said: “Surely this should be shared space, with vehicle speeds limited so that people and vehicles can move safely.

“Instead the official speed signs tell vehicles to increase their speed for this stretch of road, because the roads either side are 20mph and this stretch is 30mph!

“We know the official answer for this: the road is in fact a bridge, which the council does not own, and Network Rail won’t let it put road humps on the bridge (because it needs reinforcing) and we can’t have 20mph without speed bumps if average traffic speeds are more than 24mph.

“But this is not true. Government guidance has been changed so that you can use other means to encourage vehicles to slow down.”

The letter continued: “You could paint 20mph roundels or SLOW on the road, or use hatching marks on the Tarmac. It would be cheap and could be implemented immediately and would mean we could get rid of some very confusing road signs.”

It asked: “Why are we still left with this strange and risky anomaly of a faster stretch of road exactly where vehicles should be travelling at 20mph maximum?

“Changing it to 20mph would be cheap and popular and would show that politicians can make a difference against the bureaucratic, risk averse inertia that strangles County Hall.

“Will you make a difference?”

The Lewes Living Streets Group campaigns to improve conditions for pedestrians in the county town.

It was recently involved in a Community Street Audit with Transport Minister and local MP Norman Baker.

It looked at the quality of streets in Lewes from pedestrians’ viewpoints.

Nationally, Living Streets began as the Pedestrians Association in 1929, changing its name in 2001. It campaigned to introduce the driving test and successfully had the first zebra crossings installed.