Speed limit proposal sparks mixed reaction

Chichester has successfully lobbied for 20mph speed limits, could Horsham be next?
Chichester has successfully lobbied for 20mph speed limits, could Horsham be next?

Strong and varied reactions were sparked by public proposals to introduce a 20mph speed limit on most of Horsham town’s roads this week.

One reader called proposals a brilliant idea, and something that would make pedestrians and children the number one priority, but others branded the move as silly.

Greg Collins, of Horsham 20’s Plenty, which is spearheading the campaign, said changes could bring benefits to every town and village in the district, making it a ‘truly great district to live in’.

He said: “The easiest and simplest way to tame the traffic on the streets and return ‘ownership’ of them to pedestrians and cyclists is the introduction of 20mph limits wherever people live.

“Hard infrastructure like the Roffey Road traffic calming scheme are expensive ugly intrusions into the street scene which only serve to encourage race track driving as motorists vie with one another to claim priority and which reinforce the second class status of more vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians.”

Under proposals a blanket 20mph limit would be introduced in Horsham town with the exception of A and B roads.

Last week Brad Watson (Con, Southwater and Nuthurst), chairman of West Sussex County Council’s North Horsham County Local Committee, said traffic calming measures were available, but that Traffic Regulation Orders to enforce 20mph speed limits would be costly.

He said: “Traffic calming does help. If it’s carefully designed it works.”

Martyn Gilbey, who recently moved into Wimblehurst Road, Horsham said he and his wife were concerned by the speed of vehicles in their road.

But Norman Bryant of Copsale, while in favour of measures to tackle speeding thought that 20mph limits might not be the best way to solve road safety issues.

After another accident in Kerves Lane, between Horsham and Southwater, Susan Michaelis, a health and safety consultant, said: “I see people driving down Kerves Lane at break-neck speeds and it’s worrying - for some reason they think it’s a race track.

“How much longer will it take before someone is killed or maimed?

“From a safety point of view something needs to be done. I just feel like something needs to be said.”

Cowfold will hold a public meeting on Thursday January 31 at 7.30pm in St Peter’s School Hall in the village after repeated speeding through the village.

Figures released this month show that only 25 per cent of primary school age children walk to school alone, with Horsham parents citing road safety as one of the factors for not letting their children travel without them.