Worthing could see another attempt at the introduction of 20mph speed limits across the town.

Worthing Borough Council Leader Beccy Cooper said the council was again looking into 20mph zones in parts of the borough.

Dr Cooper said: “We are going to be working with the public on the possibility of 20mph in certain areas of our town.”

She said West Sussex County Council, the local highways authority, suggested a trial run in one area of Worthing before rolling it out to more, but there would be a public consultation before a decision was made.

Worthing Borough Council attempted to introduce a borough-wide 20mph speed limit in 2014 but was forced to abandon plans after overwhelming opposition to the scheme, with nearly 70 per cent of the 18,911 people surveyed not in favour.

At the time, the council was warned by the managing director of Compass Travel that the speed limit could lead to reductions and cuts to bus services in Worthing if agreed.

The council’s cabinet member for climate emergency, Sophie Cox (Lab, Castle), said unlike in 2014, the council would be using its Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan to find ‘zones’ where lower speed limits could be trialled.

She said: “These zones include schools, green spaces and key services where access by walking, wheeling or cycling should be easy but is often too difficult. 

“Our aim is to improve air quality and increase safety for children, families and vulnerable residents who would like the option of walking, wheeling or cycling to school, parks or local services.”

She added council officers were also looking into ‘interventions’ – such as improved pedestrian crossings or tactile paving – in these zones and consultation on the speed limits would happen later this year.

Opposition leader Kevin Jenkins said new 20mph zones would need to be ‘proportionate’ and targeted, and that as the county council was the highways authority Worthing Borough Council had ‘little jurisdiction’.

He said: “An unfocused, blanket introduction can have significant negative effects on the wider community and create ‘rat running’ and pressures in other roads not subject to this limit.”

He speculated the cost of the zones could be up by roughly £425,000 compared to 2014, if implemented in the next two years.