THE SPEED limit needs to be changed to 20mph outside schools in Seaford before a child is killed.
That’s the view of one county councillor who has challenged East Sussex County Council to take action.
At a county council meeting Councillor Carolyn Lambert asked the Lead Member for Transport, Councillor Carl Maynard if he accepted that 20mph zones should be implemented outside all schools in the county, regardless of casualty rates.
She said, “New government regulations have made it easier and cheaper to introduce 20 mph zones and we should not be waiting until a child is killed or injured before we take these basic steps to ensure safety.
“Together with my colleagues, I will continue to press the Conservatives to put safety first.”
Other residents in the town have also called for the speed limit to be dropped near schools.
Parent Margery Diamand has been campaigning for a 20mph school zone limit to be introduced.
She gained support from residents and hundreds of people signed a petition backing the speed limit being reduced in roads around Annecy School which her sons attend.
She called on East Sussex County Council to set up the new speed limit in Sutton Avenue, Arundel Road, Steyne Road and the Southdown Road area where Seaford Head Community College, Annecy School and Micklefield Nursery are based.
She said, “East Sussex County Council at the time of the petition gave their support to the principal of 20 mph zones outside schools.
“Funding has been allocated (from Section 106 money) for the 20 mph zone in the Seaford Head Community College, Annecy Primary School and Micklefield Nursery area and planning is underway. We were told that this would be a pilot scheme for the County and that other schemes might then follow.
“Nationally, there is a strong move towards 20 mph zones around schools and other busy pedestrian areas, and people will have seen them in place in many other towns and counties: it’s not only about reducing the risk of accidents, but encourages parents and children to walk and cycle because they feel safer.”
In response to the call Cllr Maynard said, “In targeting our own funding, our general approach is that we look to only consider introducing 20mph zones where there is an identified evidence-based casualty problem. “These zones can be delivered in two ways - firstly as a 20mph zone where average speeds are over 24mph and traffic calming features are introduced to bring speeds down or secondly as a signed area-wide 20mph limit where the average speeds are 24mph or less without any speed reducing features.
However, where external funding has become available we have taken advantage of the recently relaxation of DfT’s requirements - we are introducing a 20mph signage only scheme in Hastings Old Town (funded from the Hastings parking surplus) where average speeds were already around 20mph, and we have recently consulted on the introduction of a 20mph zone for Lewes town centre which is being funded by Lewes Town Council. To complement this scheme, LSTF monies are available to introduce 20mph speed limits where appropriate in residential areas within Lewes town.