Chichester gets ready for 20mph speed limit

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SIGNS and road markings are starting to appear in Chichester ahead of the introduction of a 20mph limit on all residential roads in the city.

West Sussex County Council is introducing the speed limit for every residential street, excluding A and B roads.

The council has said the change will make the streets quieter, safer, encourage more people to walk and cycle and boost the economy with more people likely to use local shops rather than travelling out of town.

Principal communities officer Greg Ockwell said: “Most people feel safer in a 20mph limit and find it easier to cross the road, ride bikes or play outside.

“A 20mph limit also encourages more considerate driving, particularly for short trips, which makes for quieter streets and an environment where neighbours are more likely to get to know each other.

“When people feel the roads are safer, they are much more likely to cycle or walk to work, school, the doctors or local shops, reducing congestion and pollution.”

However, when the plan was being discussed, some traders in the city raised concerns that it could have a negative impact on trade with potential fuel savings outweighed by increased labour costs.

There were also questions about how effectively the new limit could be enforced.

The county council made the decision to reduce the speed limit on residential roads at the end of last year, following a consultation with residents.

Of the 5,613 residents who responded in the summer of 2012, three out of four supported the move.

Martin Reed, owner of City Cycles, in Bognor Road, Chichester, said: “This has to be the best idea that the council has supported in a long time.

“We back it 100 per cent.

“Unfortunately, Chichester is too built up to create priority cycle routes – the next best thing is to slow the traffic down and make the roads safer.”

The change was backed by members of the 20s Plenty campaign who will now be responsible for educating the public about the change.