Campaign calls for 20mph zones in Hastings

20mph zone, Harold Road, Hastings. SUS-160711-150640001
20mph zone, Harold Road, Hastings. SUS-160711-150640001

A campaign has been launched in a bid to turn Hastings into a 20mph zone.

If the campaign is successful, roads in residential areas would have a speed limit reduction.

The campaign uses the slogan ‘20 is plenty’ and is backed by a number of East Sussex pressure groups.

A petition has also been launched.

Campaigner Tim Godwin said: “Essentially we believe a 20mph zone and a proper infrastructure would allow people to walk to work and to the shops or to school.

“Our town is quite behind the times with this.”

Campaigners believe that the introduction of 20mph zones would not only allow people to safely walk the streets, but to make people more active.

Mr Godwin added: “In the last 10 years, 266 people have been involved in serious traffic accidents.

“There have been 834 more minor injuries. That is over a thousand.

“That was what drove us to start up a petition to get local people to show what they think.”

Hastings and St Leonards has over 25 percent more road and death injuries than the UK average.

Mr Godwin said: “We asked people why they don’t walk to work and they say it’s because they are scared.

“We are going to do something to raise awareness. Hastings should have a network of safe routes.”

A spokesperson for the East Sussex County Council said: “We will look at any petition that is presented to us through the proper channels and consider it on its merits. In principle, we have no objection to introducing 20mph zones in appropriate areas, where this would have road safety benefits. However, we do only have limited resources so would have to assess any proposal for a reduced speed limit against other road safety schemes to ensure we prioritise schemes which are most needed and deliver the most benefits.”

Research shows that a person hit by a vehicle travelling at 35mph has a 50 percent chance of survival.

The survival rate at 20mph is 97 percent.

Mr Godwin added: “We are just trying to make Hastings a better town.”

The campaign has set up a number of events. Find out more about them on the Hastings Urban Bikes Facebook Page or at www.hastings20mph.info.

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