Arlington residents ‘saddened’ by speeding sign theft

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Residents of Arlington say they are “confused and saddened” after the theft of one of the village’s new road signs.

Villagers say they believe the sign may have been stolen at around 7.30pm on Saturday evening (January 28).

The sign, which read ‘Welcome to Arlington: please slow down’, was removed from the outskirts of the village near the Old Oak Pub.

Lindy Gillam, a village resident and member of SAGA (Speed Action Group Arlington) said she was ‘saddened and confused’ by the suspected theft.

She said: “Neighbours living near the Old Oak pub in Caneheath heard a kerfuffle last Saturday evening about 7.30pm and saw the sign being dismantled by thieves and bundled into a van, which sped off.

“The new signs, which display the Sussex crest, are the result of many months of persistent work, during a long-running campaign by SAGA to get these signs approved and installed by Highways and financed by the Parish Council.”

As a spokesman for the campaign group, which is attempting to reduce the speed limit to 30mph within the village, Lindy Gillam said the signs were an important first step in their work and that she could see no reason for the theft.

Lindy added: “The signs are a first step towards trying to improve road safety through the village, as it is used as a ‘rat run’ by commuters who are legally entitled to drive at the national speed limit of 60 mph!”

“As a result of excessive speeds there have been numerous accidents over the past few years along Arlington’s rural lanes. Arlington is an important tourist and equestrian area and, being part of the no.2 National Cycle Route, is frequented by cyclists as well as hikers. Residents are campaigning for a speed limit to be introduced as it is only a matter of time before someone gets killed.”

Lindy said SAGA is set to meet East Sussex Highways in the coming days to see if they can receive a new sign as a replacement.

When asked about the theft Nick Bennett, East Sussex County councillor for Alfriston, East Hoathly and Hellingly, said: “What on earth would anybody do with it? It’s not like you could display it anywhere.”

A Sussex Police spokesman confirmed that the theft of the road sign had been reported on Wednesday (February 1) and officers were aware of the incident.

The spokesman said: “Anyone with information about the theft is asked to email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101 quoting serial 539 of 01/02.”

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