Drivers confused by ineffective roads signs in Lewes

Confusion over where 20mph limits apply
Confusion over where 20mph limits apply

Campaigners want more clarity for roads in Lewes as drivers are ‘confused’ about where 20mph speed limits apply.

Lewes Living Streets wants a ‘simpler and clearer system’ to make roads safer for pedestrians and motorists.

Chair Kevin Moore said: “We think some motorists travelling into Lewes are confused about what roads are 20mph in the town.

“We now have lots of 20mph signs around the town but we question their effectiveness.”

The group proposes five roads heading into Lewes should feature a ‘banner on a lamp post saying ‘Lewes 20 mph starts here’, with reminders on the tarmac through the town’.

It proposes adjustments to 20mph start points, which would have red tarmac strips with speed limit indicators.

“The recent expansion of the 20mph in Lewes areas gives an opportunity to end the old confusing patchwork quilt of different speed restrictions,” Mr Moore said.

“We need a simpler and clearer system so that motorists look out for pedestrians rather than watching every speed restriction sign in case the limit has changed.”

Specific changes proposed by Lewes Living Streets are:

On Phoenix Causeway move the start point to the east side of the bridge to give room for a banner and keep the start sign out of the trees.

On Offham Road move the start point to slightly before the Prince Edwards Road junction and mark the start point with a pedestrian crossing to the Landport, with banners on lamp posts.

At Nevill Road add a banner and include part of Nevill Road and Spital Road in the 20mph limit.

On Brighton Road add a banner, and make all of Western Road 20mph

Finally on Kingston Road reduce the 40mph to 30mph, and add 20mph banners on lamp posts before the railway bridge.

“We also wonder why Cockshut Road and Cluny Street seem to be excluded from the 20mph area. Surely it would be simpler for everyone to understand if the Southover 20mph area was extended,” Mr Moore added.

Lewes Living Streets is

committed to making 20mph schemes ‘a reality and challenging the cynicism that these are just a series of signs without any changes’. Its sister group, Lewes Community Speed Watch, is working with Sussex Police to reduce the speed of traffic approaching Lewes.

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council said: “A series of 20mph schemes have been introduced throughout Lewes following consultation and a legal process.

“The implementation of speed limits is tightly controlled by national regulations which dictate where and when signs can be displayed. All the 20mph speed limits within the town are in line with these regulations.

“The average speed of vehicles on the approach roads to the town centre is above 24mph, which means traffic calming measures would need to be introduced to enable a 20mph scheme to be introduced.

“As well as being expensive to the taxpayer, the adoption of this approach on the main routes in and out of the town is unlikely to be supported by emergency services because of the impact on their response times, or bus operators in the area.

“We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the schemes that we have introduced to date.”

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