Chichester to East Ashling speed limit drops to 40mph

East Ashling residents pictured on New Year's Eve 2013 at the junction
East Ashling residents pictured on New Year's Eve 2013 at the junction
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‘COMMONSENSE’ has prevailed, as a new speed limit was brought in between Chichester and East Ashling.

West Sussex County Council had moved to make it 40mph along that entire stretch of the B2178, which would have seen the speed limit raised from 30mph at a dangerous junction.

Branded ‘ludicrous’ by residents at the start of 2014, the traffic regulation order was meant to increase safety by dropping the limit from 60mph along most of the road.

However, at a meeting of the county council’s Chichester county local committee on Tuesday evening (March 4), it was agreed the 30mph limit could stay as it was, after the proposal was amended.

Chairman of East Ashling Residents’ Association Michael O’Connell said: “Commonsense applies. We’re very pleased with the result.

It really would’ve been silly. It’s a dangerous crossing and I do think increasing speed across that would’ve been foolish.

“We obviously thank the newspaper and residents for supporting the campaign.”

The Observer previously reported residents’ concerns about the proposal.

Leader of West Sussex County Council Louise Goldsmith said she knew what a ‘huge concern’ the speed limit had been to residents.

Most councillors present were in agreement with the reduction, but Jeremy Hunt questioned whether the limit needed to be dropped 
to 40mph along the entire stretch.

“I’ve driven that road over many years – 40mph is incredibly slow on that bit of road in normal conditions,” he said.

He questioned whether it could be dropped to 40mph in some sections, but returned to 50mph in others, but Pieter Montyn, cabinet member for highways, said this could lead to a ‘patchwork’ effect and drivers might ignore all the limits.

Mouthey’s Lane resident Esmond Pope said: “We have achieved the desired result and I am sure the East Ashling Residents Association appreciate the support given by the Chichester Observer. We have also saved the council money.”

He said he hoped the saving could be used to improve the footpath alongside the B2178 between the edge of the village and the Lye Lane junction.