Calls for 40mph speed limit on ‘terrifying’ Hellingly road

Residents in Hellingly who say they are taking their lives into their hands whenever they leave their homes are calling for a 40mph speed limit for their road.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 11:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 3:38 pm
Ian Gelder wants to the see the speed limit reduced on Grove Hill

Ian Gelder, who is spearheading the campaign, said the C208 Grove Hill was ‘a quiet, country lane’ up until around five or six years ago.

But, thanks to massive housing projects on either end of the road in Hailsham and Horam, he said: “It suddenly became a rat run and a thoroughfare.”

The road, which falls under the national speed limit, is not suited to the masses of the vehicles that now come hurtling down it, he warned.

A vehicle crashed into a hedge on the road

“It’s narrow, there are no pavements, there’s lots of bends and hills and blindspots,” the 70-year-old said.

“It was never designed to take that amount of traffic.

“Trying to get out of your property, you literally take your life into your hands.

“It’s becoming worse and worse. People that have lived her for some time are getting seriously worried about their children and animals.

Ian Gelder wants to the see the speed limit reduced on Grove Hill

“It’s really terrifying.”

The road has seen accidents involving motorcyclists, as well as horses and deer, according to Mr Gelder.

Cars have turned over and ended up in hedges, and residents’ gates and hedges have been driven into,

If he had known just how bad the situation was, Mr Gelder said he never would have bought his house there two years ago.

Damage to a gate in the road

Residents have repeatedly approached East Sussex County Council to request a 40mph speed limit was imposed on the road, he said, but without any success.

“We have always been fobbed off with the excuse that the council only has limited funds for speed restriction measures,” he said.

“They say that unless there’s more fatalities or more injuries, we can’t do anything about it. That isn’t very helpful.”

He believes the new proposed development at Park Farm East in Hailsham could provide a good opportunity – as the council could request that the developers pay for the measures as part of their contributions towards local infrastructure.

Reducing the speed limit on the road would make ‘a major difference’, he said.

“Other roads in the area, including A roads, have speed limits of 40mph including the A271 and A267. Why not us?” he said.

An East Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of concerns about the speed of traffic on Grove Hill.

“We presently have very limited resources available for road safety, including the investigation of lower speed limits, which means we can only implement schemes where the need is greatest.

“Our Road Safety Team will investigate Grove Hill to ensure that the current level of signing and road markings is appropriate and offers drivers adequate warning and information to proceed in an appropriate manner.”