Is 20 really plenty for Chichester?

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Residents in Chichester will soon have the chance to influence a decision on whether a 20mph speed limit should be introduced in residential streets across the city.

West Sussex County Council has agreed to consider a proposal, put forward by campaign group 20’s Plenty for Chichester, to reduce the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph.

The proposal includes all residential roads where a 20mph limit does not already exist. Most A and B roads will remain at 30mph. The county council wishes to get the views of the wider community before making any decision and has launched a public consultation.

Sarah Sharp, chairman of 20’s Plenty for Chichester, said: ‘Speed certainly kills’ – but it can also blight our lives. Fast traffic is one reason why children are kept indoors. It stops people meeting on the street, and makes it harder to get to know your neighbours. We want to send a clear message to county councillors that ‘liveability’ begins at 20mph.

“With most roads at 20mph, Chichester would become a safer place, a more pleasant place to travel on foot or by bike.”

Although the council has not yet formally begun the consultation, residents who want to have a say can do so until September 24. Affected residents in Chichester will be sent a letter through their door in August with a response form attached.

It will be accompanied by a map of the streets included in the proposal and a list of answers to frequently-asked questions.

South Chichester county local committee chairman Mike Hall said: “Reducing speeds reduces the number of killed and seriously injured people on our roads – that is a fact.

“Are you prepared to make the commitment yourself? It is your opportunity as a Chichester resident to make a choice. It is your community, your choice.”

After the consultation, a report will be prepared ahead of the South Chichester County Local Committee meeting on November 6. A decision will be made in public at that meeting.

The Observer will publish more on how you can have your say when the information is released.