Campaign to cut speed in Rogate gathers pace

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ROGATE villagers are pressing for a ‘20 is plenty’ scheme in a bid to tackle the dangers posed by increasing numbers of vehicles speeding through the centre of the village.

Vce-chairman of the parish council Elizabeth Brown and James Stock, a member of the village traffic sub-committee, put their case to West Sussex county councillors at their County Local Committee.

A petition signed by villagers was presented, calling for a 20mph speed limit on the A272 through the centre of the village and on the roads north and south of the village centre.

“I want to emphasise the concern expressed by residents of Rogate over a number of years regarding the speed, size and volume of traffic and the damage it has caused, through the village not only on the A272 but north and south of the village,” said Mrs Brown.

Tackling the issue had been the top priority identified when the parish council carried out its parish plan in 2007, ‘and since then there has been an increase in traffic on all our roads, not just in numbers but in actual size of vehicles including horse carriers, container lorries, farm tractors and machinery which are all getting larger and more powerful ,using our narrow twisting roads with dangerous bends and often no pavements’.

She said there had already been serious accidents involving injuries to people and damage to property. The scheme had the full backing of the parish council and the traffic sub-committee had discussed the plan with police who supported the speed limit.

A total of 96 per cent of those who responded to the petition had been in favour of the scheme.

Mrs Brown told the CLC meeting: “I request you to listen to the people of Rogate and let us have this and we believe it should be implemented as soon as possible.”

County councillor Chris Duncton said the plight of Rogate villagers was a familiar story which he had heard at all the parish councils he attended.

But he said the problem was the implementation of ‘20 is plenty’ schemes as traffic needed to flow on routes such as the A272.

But Mr Stock, leader of Rogate’s ‘20 is plenty’ group, said there were precedents for putting these limits on ‘A’ roads and Rogate’s problem was likely to increase with more tourism to the South Downs.

He said villagers had chosen ‘20 is plenty’ because of the low cost of implementation – between £8,000 and £10,000.

Chairman of the committee Nola Hendon said, in principle, she fully supported the campaign.