Call to cut speeds on '˜dangerous' Westbourne road

A 60mph road near a childrens' play area must have its speed limit cut to 30mph to avoid a serious accident, residents have warned.

Friday, 4th May 2018, 2:35 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:45 am

In a newsletter to residents, Westbourne Parish Council said the county council had refused to extend the current 30mph zone to include the play area in Monks Hill as ‘doesn’t fit their policy’.

Emma Ward, who lives in Monks Hill, wrote to the Observer to highlight more widespread speeding issues, saying it was ‘only a matter of time before there was a death or serious accident’ on the road.

She said: “Very few people bother to stick to 30mph. However, the speed becomes utterly ridiculous in the early hours of the morning, or late at night. “At these times, the hill is used as a racing track. I am not exaggerating when I say that people are doing 80plus up and down the hill.

“There is wildlife around here. I have seen a whole herd of deer in the field opposite.

“One day, a deer will come out in front of one of the cars and they will swerve and probably end up in my, or one of my neighbours bedrooms.

“That coupled with the fact that there is a playground (and a school), is a recipe for disaster. I know how horrendous the speeding is, so I am utterly paranoid with my own son.

“However, parents who visit the playground may not realise what a dangerous road it is and not be as vigilant.”

The parish council is now taking up the matter with MP Gillian Keegan and asking residents to write into the council with their concerns.

The newsletter read: “We have repeatedly asked for the current 30mph limit to be extended to include the play area but regrettably WSCC Highways say it doesn’t fit their policy.

“They say they have carried out a review but they are still refusing to acknowledge there is any problem.

“Both the parish council and our county councillor Cllr Viral Parikh feel the only option now open to us is to ask our MP, Gillian Keegan, to ask for a review at national level to address this serious failing, and we will continue to push hard to try and make this happen.

“If you believe the speed limit here should be reduced to 30mph it would be very helpful to our cause if you could email us with your views at [email protected]

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “There are two speed limits in Monks Hill: 30mph in the built-up area and 60mph further north of this.

“The children’s play area is set back from the road and, along with the recreation ground, is fenced in.

“There is ample room for cars to park in an area by the play park and for pedestrians to walk a significant distance away from the road where the speed limit is higher.

“The carriageway adjacent to the play area was already a 60mph-limit road when the site for the play area was chosen and built.

“Since then, the parish council has made a number of requests to extend the 30mph speed limit northwards but, unfortunately, the proposals do not meet county council policy or National Guidance.

“Although the speed limit adjacent to the play area is 60mph, the character of the road does not encourage this speed and our records indicate that average speeds there are much lower than the posted limit.”