LETTER: Still early days

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I WOULD like to respond to David Lee’s letter of October 15, which carries the headline ‘Waste of Money’.

As reported at a recent parish council meeting, anecdotal evidence regarding the effect of the new 20mph speed limit in the village of Westbourne is mixed.

There are those, like Mr Lee, who are of the view there has been no noticeable reduction in the speed of traffic passing through the village.

However, there are also those – probably greater in number – who report that the new speed limit is making a difference.

While anecdotal evidence is powerful, my understanding is that, within a year of the new limit coming into force, West Sussex County Council will monitor speeds in the village and, if these have not been reduced significantly, further measures will be considered.

The erection of signs, as Mr Lee points out, is probably not enough to have the necessary impact.

However, if the vehicle in front of you is travelling at a maximum of 20mph, you are obliged to do likewise.

Moreover, the parish council is currently looking into strategically-located village gateways, which will make it even clearer to the motorist that they are entering a residential area and that their speed needs to be adjusted accordingly.

Whilst I very much understand Mr Lee’s concern (I have spoken to him about this on several occasions), I would not be so pessimistic.

It is early days and ingrained driving habits do not change overnight.

Rest assured that Westbourne is determined to ensure that the new 20mph speed limit works.

Richard Hitchcock,

Chairman, Westbourne Parish Council