West Sussex launches county-wide speed limit and safety review

West Sussex County Council has launched a county-wide road safety review, including looking at speed limits and traffic management.

Road safety adviser to the local authority and former traffic police officer, Cllr Tom Richardson, has been asked to lead a cross-party group of county councillors in the review, which was prompted by Cllr Joy Dennis, cabinet member for highways and transport.

Under Mr Richardson's chairmanship, the Task and Finish Group (TFG) will review the county’s road safety framework, including:

  • reviewing speed limit policy, to make it easier to introduce a lower speed limit, where appropriate
  • exploring other traffic management measures that could help reduce serious-injury incidents
  • considering other highway-related issues that may contribute to road traffic collisions.

Southwater, West Sussex. Image: Sarah Sloane / shutterstock.com

Cllr Richardson said: 'The important thing to emphasise is that the Task and Finish Group’s work won’t solely be about speed limits – it’s also about how people use the roads. Driver education will be a big part of this, as will looking at various options to make things safer for all road users.'

Cllr Dennis said: 'Road safety was one of the main reasons both Tom and I wanted to become county councillors. It felt like a minority of drivers, be it a car, van or lorry, seemed to think the roads were there "just for them": they were treating the network as a space only for motor vehicles, without due regard for others like motorcyclists, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

'My vision is for roads to be safer for all. It isn’t just about speed, which can sometimes be a question of perception: it is a minority of drivers and their lack of due care and consideration for other road users.

'A lot is about education and reaching out to inexperienced drivers. The road is as safe as your driving, which includes being within the speed limit and driving according to the prevailing weather conditions.'

The TFG is expected to conclude the review of speed limit policy in the summer.

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