Parents unite in fight to reduce speed limit outside Hellingly primary school

Parents are demanding speed reducing measures are introduced outside a school to bring it in line with similar scheme through Hellingly.

Members of North Hailsham and Hellingly Residents Union (NHHRU) are stepping up their fight to have the 40mph limit halved outside Hellingly Community Primary School.

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Station Road has had 20mph limits and traffic calming measures introduced along it, apart from the 200 yard stretch of road outside the school.

But East Sussex County Council (ESCC), which maintains roads, says it has no plans to reduce the speed limit in the area because of costs and lack of evidence it is dangerous.

The school was forced to introduce earlier opening times to allow parents to drop off children in a bid to make the area safer, said its Headteacher, Kyra Ward.

Grant de Jongh, chairman of NHHRU, said: “As a parent myself, which is where I started to get complaints, I’ve seen white vans bolting down the road.

“Parents are seeing red over this because they have just spent money on the residential section of the road and clearly marked it 30mph and as it comes through the village it’s reduced to 20mph but the section outside the school is still 40mph.”

The school has more than 200 pupils aged between two and 11-years-old.

Mrs Ward said: “We would like the speed limit to be as slow as possible. It’s horrendous in the mornings with the sheer volume of traffic. During peak times you would struggle to reach the top limit, but it is dangerous because parents are dropping off or picking up children.

“We would like to get the limit down to 20mph, we don’t want it at 40. We are always putting out news letters telling parents to be careful and think about parking. We just hope parents think what they would want for their child and act accordingly.”

The change in the village’s speed limit was paid for by developers of Hellingly Hospital in a bid to reduce the number of drivers using the village as a cut through, and was agreed by Sussex Police, said a ESCC spokesman.

The spokesman said: “When considering speed limits we carefully examine the character and appearance of the road in question. In Hellingly, the narrow built up nature of the area around the church makes a 20mph speed limit more realistic than the road outside the school, which is separated from the main part of the village by a length of rural road with no visible buildings or houses.

“We receive many requests for reduced speed limits and traffic calming measures, but budgets are tight and we have to spend our money where it’s most needed.

“Priority is given to improving the sites which have the highest number of crashes and the most fatal or serious casualties.

“There have been no injury crashes reported to the police on Station Road in the last five years, although there have been some slight injury crashes at each end of Station Road.”