Petition for inclusion in Lewes 20mph streets scheme

20 mph signs, Lewes
20 mph signs, Lewes

Lewes residents have been signing a petition pleading to be included in the town’s 20mph maximum speed scheme.

Plans by East Sussex County Council could leave some residents facing more and possibly faster traffic, according to pressure group Lewes Living Streets.

Members have been raising awareness and getting support for inclusion. Most residents want to become part of the 20mph restriction.

In the county council’s 20mph plan, The Avenue, Bradford Road and De Montfort Road all remain 30mph while roads around them become 20mph – creating a 30mph bypass for Lewes High Street from Offham Road to Nevill Road.

Richard Kemp, of Lewes Living Streets, said: “This was the most striking anomaly in the 20mph plans so we took a petition out to residents in those streets to make them aware and see if they wanted to be included in the 20mph scheme for Lewes.

“Almost every person contacted [88] signed immediately for 20mph throughout all the residential roads of Lewes, including their road. Many people on The Avenue said their road was already a bit of a rat run for vehicles and thought this would make it worse.

“Nobody could understand why they have been excluded from 20mph for the town and people in De Montfort Road in particular could not understand why a road with a school in it should be 30mph.”

Lewes Living Streets says that the county council’s “fragmented” approach to 20mph is confusing motorists and pedestrians and undermining the 20mph scheme.

Mr Kemp said there are other roads that should logically be 20mph but will remain 30mph under the council plans, including St Anne’s Crescent, Spital Road, Pinwell Road, and the South end of Offham Road.

Lewes Living Streets continues to campaign for 20mph ‘gateway’ signs (large signs that cannot be missed) on the five roads in to Lewes and then everything behind this to be 20mph, saying this would be easier for people to understand and would be cheaper as there would be less need for ugly repeater signs every 200 metres.

Lewes Living Streets strives to improve conditions for pedestrians.

The group was recently involved in a Community Street Audit with local MP Norman Baker, which looked at the quality of streets in Lewes from a pedestrian’s viewpoint.