VOTE: Support suggests 20’s plenty for roads in Chichester

A campaign for more 20mph limits in Chichester is gathering pace after it won the backing of Chichester City Council.

But there was opposition from a minority of members, who called for the creation of separate cycle tracks to be considered instead of new speed limits.

City mayor Michael Woolley stressed the city council had no power to introduce new speed limits itself but it could make recommendations to West Sussex County Council.

The city council was told many people in Chichester had signed a petition in support of the 20’s plenty campaign, in the interests of improving cyclist safety.

Cllr Derek James said that in Portsmouth, where 20mph limits were introduced more than two years ago, the overall average speed had been reduced by only 0.9mph.

Even more worrying was the fact the number of accidents in which people had been killed or seriously injured had stayed about the same.

Cllr James said he was concerned 20mph limits could encourage accidents by creating a false sense of security. And he argued the city council should not align itself with a pressure group.

But he emphasised his support for cyclists by suggesting a campaign for cycle tracks separate from roads.

However, Cllr Mick Shone strongly backed the 20’s Plenty campaign – as something of immense value to the community.

“This is an opportunity not to be missed,” he declared.

Cllr Pam Dignum felt the scheme should be part of a wider cycling and road safety scheme, rather than just reducing speed.

And Cllr Stuart King said money to be spent on 20mph limits should go towards new cycle routes instead.

Mrs Sharp said she was pleased councillors had shown support.

“The whole ethos of 20’s Plenty is about sharing. The whole idea is that we share road space to reduce speeds to encourage this shift away from the car.

“It’s about localism. If we do things locally, like go to local shops and walk there rather than go and get in the car and drive miles it can bring a whole change.”

Mrs Sharp said she would continue the campaign and hoped to gain more support for the petition which is at http://www.20splentyforchichester.moonfruit.com