Speed restriction victory for group

VILLAGERS are hoping a decade-long attempt to prevent their roads being used as a ‘dangerous racetrack’ will soon be over.

Vehicles travelling between Selsey and Chichester pass through the centre of Sidlesham on the B2145, which varies between 30mph and 40mph.

However on November 6, West Sussex County Council’s Chichester South County Local Committee (CLC) approved plans to decrease the speed limit on many of the 40mph stretches to 30mph.

“We hope the extended 30mph speed limits will make road users realise they are entering a community where people live,” said Sidlesham Parish Council vice chairman Paul Bedford.

“Hopefully they will respect it and treat it as they would wish where they live to be treated.”

He described the village as becoming more “fragmented” and in danger of losing its identity because of the speeding traffic through its centre.

“We are trying to reclaim our roads for a community and not have them used as a dangerous racetrack.”

He said it was not clearly marked which zones were 30mph, which led to cars often speeding through the village.

“I think the amount of traffic using the road has meant the village has lost its identity over a number of years because it’s become this major through route to Selsey,” he said before emphasising that Sidlesham is a place in its own right.

There are no crossing points through the village and the road has seen a number of fatalities throughout the years, most recently in September, when a man died following a collision between a tractor and three other cars.

Richard and Corina Hall founded the Sidlesham Traffic Action Group (STAG), which was launched ten years ago to tackle traffic problems through the village.

“If we can make it 30mph all the way through, and if it is enforceable by the police it will at least hopefully make a different,” said Mr Hall.

“These roads were not designed for this volume and size of traffic.”

He added this does not mark an end to their campaign, as they would like other speed-calming measures, such as roundabouts, to be introduced.

Further speed reductions in the area to be discussed at the next CLC meeting in February.