Willingdon volunteers ‘absolutely devastated’ about speed bump petition rejection

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A voluntary speed watch group in Willingdon has accused the Jevington Residents Association of influencing the council’s decision to reject a petition for a new speed bump.

Willingdon Community Speed Watch (WCSW) said it submitted a petition to East Sussex County Council (ESCC) asking for traffic calming measures to be introduced to the village of Jevington.

WCSW said the petition was signed by 68 residents from Willingdon, Wannock, and Jevington and also included a report from WCSW on its last five speed watch sessions in Jevington during November and December last year.

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Over a total of 10 hours there were 62 speeding vehicles and those details were forwarded to Sussex Police to be dealt with, WCSW confirmed. The report said the average speed of those 62 vehicles was 39mph in the 30mph zone.

Willingdon volunteers ‘absolutely devastated’ about speed bump petition rejection. Photo from WCSW. SUS-220202-163945001Willingdon volunteers ‘absolutely devastated’ about speed bump petition rejection. Photo from WCSW. SUS-220202-163945001
Willingdon volunteers ‘absolutely devastated’ about speed bump petition rejection. Photo from WCSW. SUS-220202-163945001

WCSW said Jevington Residents Association (JRA) sent an email to ESCC which has ‘influenced the decision’ and now the volunteer group has been told by ESCC that, “Speed humps or a traffic calming scheme in the Green Lane area of Jevington are not a priority for the county council at the present time, and that a traffic calming scheme in Jevington does not currently meet the benchmark score for consideration within a future capital programme.”

Richard Churchman, the chairman of JRA, said the petition in question was asking for a speed hump in a specific location.

He said, “We wrote to ESCC not because we do not support traffic calming, but because we do not believe that appealing for a speed hump is the approach to take.”

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On the accusation of JRA’s email influencing the ESCC decision, Richard said the decision and recommendations by the lead member were not dependent on objections, but rather the result of statutory and policy limitations.

It was because of these that the appeal to ESCC for a speed hump in Jevington was rejected.

Nita Luce, 86, is part of WCSW and has spent ‘many long hours speed watching in the village because she cares about her community’.

A spokesperson for the volunteers said Nita is ‘absolutely devastated by how JRA have gone out of their way to interfere with our effort towards speed reduction in the village’.

WCSW is now preparing to remove all signs it has put up.

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The WCSW spokesperson said, “Needless to say none of us ever want to speed watch in Jevington again as very obviously we are not wanted there and certainly have not been appreciated for all the hundreds of hours we have devoted trying to do something positive for the good of all the residents of the village during the past 10 years.”

Richard said JRA has been working with the South Downs National Park Authority on a pilot study to identify potential approaches to traffic issues across the National Park and Jevington has been chosen to take part in this pilot.

He said, “We believe that an integrated, village-wide set of measures is the best approach to address the problems in Jevington and that this pilot study will deliver them.

“I want to make clear that our intention was not to alienate the Willingdon Speed Watch Team. We have always recognised their commitment and hard work.”