Plans for 20mph speed limit a step closer in Malling

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Plans for a 20mph speed limit on several Lewes roads are a step closer as the county council agreed to go out for consultation on proposals.

The original scheme was for the new restriction to cover the whole Malling area, but in February 2015 East Sussex County Council’s planning committee upheld objections involving concerns at physical traffic calming proposals in Old Malling Way.

It was then decided to split proposals into two schemes and consider the eastern Malling area, which would only require signing and road markings, separately to the New Malling part of town, which would still require physical traffic calming measures.

The county council then held a consultation to gauge support for a 20mph speed limit for the roads immediately to the west of the A26 from Spences Lane northwards.

Of the 153 responses, 79 per cent supported the introduction of a 20mph speed limit.

But a number of residents wrote in to object to the scheme, with the top reason being that traffic moves too slowly and it was not possible to reach more than 20mph.

Objectors also argued that the scheme was a waste of money and funds would be better spent elsewhere, and said that the new speed limit would not be enforced.

An officers’ report said that speed monitoring following the introduction of a 20mph speed limit showed that average vehicle speeds had typically reduced by 1mph.

The report went on to explain that the scheme was considered as a result of a 2013 petition calling for reductions in the speed limit in Malling.

The new restriction would be ‘largely self-enforcing’ with police intervention only when necessary.

The county council’s lead member for transport and environment agreed to consult on the draft Traffic Regulation Order to introduce the new speed limit at a meeting on Monday.

Any objections that cannot be resolved by officers would be heard by the planning committee in May. The earliest the scheme could be implemented would be in the autumn.

The cost of the scheme is estimated at £10,000 and would be the subject of a separate lead member decision.

The roads affected by the proposals would be Queens Road, The Meadows, part of Church Lane, Fitzgerald Road, The Martlets, Prince Charles Road, Barn Road, Hereward Way, Spences Lane, Spences Field, Coombe Road, Waite Close, Deanery Close, and Orchard Road.

A total of 499 consultation letters and questionnaires were delivered to properties in the area back in November.

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