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Worthing public’s views on 20mph bid wanted
Worthing could follow in the footsteps of a seaside neighbour after councillors agreed to a public consultation on a new 20mph scheme.
Campaigners in favour of the scheme, which would see some speed limits in the town reduced to 20mph, were celebrating last night after council bosses agreed to ask the public for their views on the proposals.
Councillors unanimously voted in favour of the consultation on Wednesday night, but the scheme must nowgain public support if it is to progress further.
If the plans go ahead Worthing will follow in the footsteps of Brighton and Hove, which introduced 20mph in May.
Duncan Kay, of 20’s Plenty for Worthing campaign group, was among 50 people who campaigned in favour of the plans outside the meeting at the Heene Community Centre on Wednesday night.
He said: “I’m pleased the council has agreed to a consultation, they’ve made the right decision.
“What’s important now is that the residents of Worthing understand why 20mph zones are important and why it’s needed. Worthing has the highest number of cyclist and pedestrian deaths and serious injuries on the roads in all of West Sussex. We’ll be campaigning further over the next few weeks to try and help people make an informed decision.
The initial cost of the 20mph scheme has been estimated at £350,000, including a £50,000 public consultation.
Councillor Bob Smytherman, Mayor of Worthing, said: “I was delighted to second Councillor Waight’s proposal to give Worthing people a say on whether they want 20mph limits in their streets and to make the money available for implementation. I would urge residents concerned about speeding traffic to respond to the consultation so we can make our town safer for all road users.”
Concerns were raised earlier this week that council chiefs were planning to cancel all plans for a public consultation on the 20mph scheme and instead spend £1 million on new paving slabs for Montague Street – the town’s high street.
But Cllr Paul Yallop, leader of Worthing Borough Council, dismissed the concerns.
He said: “There is no need for the Montague Street scheme to compete with 20’s plenty. Those who claim there is are trying to divide the community of Worthing.
“Those campaigning for 20mph speed limits say its introduction could save the NHS and emergency services millions every year. Why have those public bodies not been asked to provide funding, which could pay them back in just a few months?”
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