Decision made on proposals to introduce blanket 20mph speed limit in parts of Bognor Regis

20mph speed limit sign
20mph speed limit sign

A scheme to cover most of the roads in Felpham by a blanket 20mph speed limit has been approved.

The new traffic regulation order (TRO) will cover the entire parish apart from main roads, private roads and those playing a more significant role in the network.

The proposal comprises the introduction of a village wide 20mph limit, two pairs of speed cushions to help moderate speeds where they are highest in Summerley Lane and a short section of double yellow lines in Felpham Way.

It is estimated that the cost of implementation will be £50,000 and will be funded from developer contributions. A consultation on the proposals was held in February, with 12 objections and eight letters of support received, with the main concern value for money. Read more here.

Last night (Wednesday) saw a final decision made by members of the joint western Arun area committee, Francis Oppler, Ashvin Patel, David Edwards, Jacky Pendleton, Dawn Hall and Hilary Flynn. The scheme was passed with four votes in favour and two abstaining.

Speaking at the meeting prior to the decision being made, Paul English, Arun district councillor for Felpham, said "The proposal was put forward by the residents. We have upheld what the residents have asked for.

"It will be a simple procedure where you drive at 20mph and everyone behind will be forced to do the same thing. If someone decides to overtake and speed, the police will take action. We thought this was a good idea to make the roads safer.

"Children will be able to walk to school safely. There have been so many opportunities for people to come along and talk and put forward other ideas. The residents put the ideas forward and have been consulted."

West Sussex county councillor for Bognor Regis East, Francis Oppler, said there are 'comments on both sides of the arguments that are true'.

He added: "There is the question of whether the police will enforce it. I live on the edge of a 20mph zone and people do abuse it but it is surprising the number of people who do keep to 20mph. If you go at 20mph, you do force other people to go at that speed."

Committee chairman David Edwards, county councillor for Bersted, said he 'fully supported' the scheme.

He said: "The whole point of this is to make the roads safer. I've lived in Felpham most of my life and it will make the roads safer and people will feel safer."

Fellow Felpham resident Matt Stanley said there is 'definitely is an issue with traffic'. He added: "There are challenging places, specifically around school times. This area would benefit from people being able to walk more safely."

County councillor for Middleton-on-sea, Jacky Pendleton said she could understand the two main contrasting views.

She said: "Some think we need it to reduce the accident rate which is a very real situation but there is also the view that it is not value for money when it our, the residents', money and the speed is already low. It's difficult and I don't know which way to go."

Hugh Coster, district councillor for Aldwick West, was against the idea.

He said: "We all have to look at this more practically. It seems that we are continuing with the practice of the previous administration of holding consultations and then ignoring the result."

Coster referred to a poll, ran by the Observer in February, in which 67 per cent of the 154 residents who voted were against changing the speed limit to 20mph.

He said: "It showed that over two/thirds of people were against this proposal. It would seem that the consultation said no and it's time we started listening. This was why there was a change at the elections, because the pubic were not being listened to.

"It would cost £50,000 and we really could be spending this money better if we started listening to the public. People who speed will not be concerned by new signs. They will do it anyway and they have to be dealt with by the police."

A county council spokesman confirmed that a decision will be confirmed if a review is not called in within five working days.