Speed limit news follows Hellingly campaign

Grant de Jongh who is leading a campaign to reduce the speed limit outside Hellingly School to 20mph. February 13th 2013. E07219P
Grant de Jongh who is leading a campaign to reduce the speed limit outside Hellingly School to 20mph. February 13th 2013. E07219P

The county council has pledged its commitment to introducing 20mph speed limits across East Sussex.

The Liberal Democrats on East Sussex County Council (ESCC) have welcomed the announcement, saying they are delighted in succeeding in pushing through the commitment, along with other road safety measures.

It was agreed at a meeting last week the council would work with communities, other councils and organisations to look at improved levels of safety for pedestrians.

The announcement follows a report in last week’s Sussex Express about how members of North Hailsham and Hellingly Residents Union, led by Grant de Jongh, has stepped up their fight to have a 20mph zone introduced outside the village’s school.

Station Road, which runs through the village, had its speed limit reduced to 30mph and 20mph after the developer of Hellingly Hospital stumped up the cash. The decision to reduce the speed was agreed by Sussex Police, said an ESCC spokesman last week.

But the spokesman said there was no plan to reduce the limit on the 200 yard stretch of road outside the school because of costs and the lack of evidence it was dangerous.

Last week county cllr Carolyn Lambert hit out at ESCC, claiming it has an ‘appalling record on road safety’.

She said the latest report from the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety named ESCC as amongst the worst performing highways authority with regards to road safety.

She said: “It is high time that the Conservatives on the County Council faced up to their responsibilities in the area.

This is a real victory for local residents and campaign groups who have repeatedly petitioned for 20mph limits.”

She criticised the Conservatives for turning down Lib Dem proposals to fund the immediate introduction of 20mph limits schemes from the local Transport Improvements budget.

Cllr Carl Maynard, lead member for transport and environment, said: “It’s quite wrong to describe our record as poor. The fact is that the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads has been consistently falling.

“The Conservative administration sees the introduction of 20mph limits where appropriate as just one part of a series of possible measures aimed at ensuring safety for drivers and pedestrians alike. We have already included a raft of these in our capital programme and will continue to work in partnership with town and parish councils and other interested parties.”