Calls for lower speed limit on A259 between Seaford and Newhaven

Campaigner Emily O'Brien hands in the petition to county councillors
Campaigner Emily O'Brien hands in the petition to county councillors

A campaigner calling for a lower speed limit on a busy coastal road has handed in a petition to East Sussex County Council.

Campaigner Emily O’Brien has handed in a 236-strong petition calling for a 40mph speed limit on a stretch of the A259 between Seaford and Newhaven, with speed cameras to enforce it.

The petition, which was launched last November, was set up following the death of a 68-year-old Seaford motorcyclist on the road last year.

In the petition, Mrs O’Brien said: “The road is just too fast along its whole length, with many serious accidents at other turn-offs including Marine Drive, Stud Farm and Foxhole Farm, and both the buses and the bike lane are marooned by traffic.

“It makes no sense for drivers to travel at dangerous speeds on this stretch, only to sit in traffic when they reach Newhaven or Seaford. A 40mph limit would add just 51 seconds to journey times.

“Please act before more lives are lost.”

Mrs O’Brien has her own personal experience of the road’s dangers, as her 18-year-old son Ben was knocked down while walking home from a bus stop in 2017.

Speaking in November, Mrs O’Brien said: “He misjudged the crossing and was hit in the head by a bus. Fortunately the bus wasn’t going very fast at the time or he would be dead now.

“He made a full recovery but the thing that really struck me about it was just how incredibly lucky he had been. He was so lucky.

“It has left me feeling really anxious about it since, about all the other children who use the road and particularly about my 13-year-old daughter.”

“My heart absolutely breaks for all the other people who have been killed or injured in all the other accidents that have happened in the year and a bit since then.

“There have been so many accidents, including the recent fatal one. In that week, the road was closed three times. There were three serious accidents in a week and I really think that just changing the junction layout isn’t enough.  

“We need a reduction in the speed limit as well.”

While concussed, Ben fortunately made a full recovery after several days and is now studying biology at university.

Mrs O’Brien handed her petition to the chairman of East Sussex County Council Peter Pragnell ahead of a full council meeting today (Tuesday March 26).

The petition is expected to be considered by lead member for communities and safety Bill Bentley in the near future.