Is speeding an issue and what can be done about it?

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Residents of many of the parishes between Chichester and Havant have been asking for more to be done about the speed and volume of traffic in the area, but is there really an issue?

Councillor Andrew Kerry-Bedell, who works in Southbourne Parish Council, says the real issue is traffic volume.

He stated; “10 years ago there were about 11,000 vehicles a day along the A259 (Main Road); now at a peak in January 2023 there were 20,000 with an average of 14,500 a day. Plus there are another 1000 houses being built in Southbourne, so the volume will only increase.”

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The RAC reported that in 2023, fifty percent of journeys were less than two miles. “That’s what's causing the problems, it’s congestion,” claimed cllr Kerry-Bedell. “The most important thing for me is getting people out of their cars, and that’s really difficult.”

Data created from an FOI request to West Sussex Police.Data created from an FOI request to West Sussex Police.
Data created from an FOI request to West Sussex Police.

“A lot of being a councillor is setting up more strategic projects, such as reducing speed across the whole area, for example, on Stein Road, 86% of all the residents said they wanted a reduction down to 20mph,” stated cllr Kerry-Bedell. “We are very Parish-Resident driven, which means that the parish listens to residents about where they feel limits need reducing, so that they are effective in the community.”

Above is data formed from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, to the Sussex Police. The request asked for the number of prosecutions received from the speed camera in Southbourne, on the A259 (Main Road) in 2020 and 2023. The result was 53 in 2020 and only 8 in 2023.

Also requested was the number of road traffic collisions (RTC’s) reported that involved speed in 2020 and 2023. The results were 3 in 2020 and 2 in 2023.

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The speed camera is the only static speed camera between Emsworth and Chichester.

As shown in the data, the number of accidents appears to have little correlation to the number of people caught speeding.

Moreover, the amount of people prosecuted for speeding as a result of this camera has dramatically fallen between 2020 and 2023, so is speeding still an issue in Southbourne and the surrounding areas?

1 in 7 people speed on average in west sussex as reported in 2023, so the question is how do you slow those people down? “If you can persuade the 6 out of 7 to do the speed limit, those people wanting to speed won't be able to, that's the way to do it really,” stated cllr Kerry-Bedell.

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The council plans to use Speed Indicator Device (SID) cameras to monitor speed. Each parish is allowed 2 or 3 depending on the size to place wherever they like and each one costs roughly £1500.

People want positive reinforcement to say they've done the right thing, and the smiley faces do that, they work!” claimed cllr Kerry-Bedell.

He continued, “unfortunately, the Road Traffic Police won’t enforce the speed limits, they can't. Since 2011 their numbers have been halved. This is the only way we can reduce the speed.”

Of the people who are injured in traffic collisions, 70 percent are cyclists or motorcyclists. Southbourne Parish council has reported trying to create a scheme called ‘Chem Route’ which would create a safe route for cyclists from Chichester to Emsworth. It is estimated to take 5 years to complete and will cost an estimated seven million pounds through National Highways. “Without these reduced speed limits we would not be able to create that safe route,” said cllr Kerry-Bedell.