Lewes’s 20mph speed limit zone is not money well spent

We hope that Lewes Living Streets will stop promoting the extension of the 20mph zone.

The current extension of the 20mph limits throughout the residential areas of Lewes is not money well spent.

Traffic speed monitoring determined that average vehicle speeds in these areas were already below 24mph – even though the area has a 30mph speed limit. In fact, monitoring of the existing 20mph area in Lewes Town Centre, before and after its introduction, has shown that average vehicle speeds have typically fallen by just 1mph. The police do not expect to routinely enforce the 20mph speed limits but they can and will undertake targeted enforcement where necessary, ie if traffic persistently drove too fast. As traffic doesn’t currently exceed 24mph, this is unlikely to be a problem. So what is the point in extending the scheme?

The county council was awarded capital funding from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) scheme from which £1,236,000 has been specifically allocated for walking, cycling and public transport improvements in Lewes and the coastal towns. However, Andrew Keer, Principle Transport Planner at ESCC, has said that the county council will need to supplement the LSTF funding with money from the ESCC capital funding in order to pay for the works required. If the 20mph zone extension had not been approved, the money being spent on it could be used elsewhere for transport improvements and may have avoided the need for ESCC funds to supplement the project.

Jackie and Nigel Oxley

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