Cocking villagers ‘fear for their lives’ crossing road

David Imlach outside the village shop on the main road with  shopkeepers Paul and Linda Henshaw
David Imlach outside the village shop on the main road with shopkeepers Paul and Linda Henshaw

COCKING villagers fear drivers breaking the speed limit on their way to the Goodwood Breakfast Club could cause a ‘serious accident’.

The A286 through the centre of Cocking, which has a 30mph speed limit, is being treated as an extension to the race track and villagers are taking their lives in their hands crossing the road, it is claimed.

Now vice-chairman of the parish council David Imlach has written to the commander of Chichester district police, Chief Insp Justin Burtenshaw, asking the police to intervene.

Mr Imlach said: “Cocking is fed up with the way drivers going to and from the monthly breakfast meeting at Goodwood ignore the speed limit through Cocking.

“We have a lot of pedestrian traffic across the road either going to the church or to the shop and at the other end of the village we have busy tearooms and guest house.”

He said volunteers hoped soon to be able to use a speed detector to monitor driving along the busy A286 through Cocking, but they could not be manned all the time.

There was a notice close to the Goodwood entrance, said Mr Imlach, asking drivers to be considerate to neighbours.

“Surely the race authorities also have responsibility to warn drivers travelling through other areas on their way to Goodwood.”

In a letter to Chief Insp Burtenshaw, Mr Imlach said: “On the last breakfast club meeting on the bank holiday Sunday (May 4) the A286 through Cocking might as well have been an extension to the Goodwood race track.

“Although there were signs informing drivers there was grit on the road as it had just been resurfaced, these warnings were totally ignored.”

He said most people lived the opposite side of the road to the church and shop, ‘and on a Sunday there is a great deal of (pedestrian traffic) crossing the road. Residents at times were crossing in peril of their lives’.

A spokesman for Goodwood said: “We wholeheartedly support responsible driving and have demonstrated this through support of initiatives such as the campaign by Singleton School to reduce speed limits.

“We do our best to both communicate and reiterate this through all breakfast club correspondence distributed, asking everyone to drive with due care and respect for residents.

“We will continue to do our best to work with both the community and the local authorities to ascertain what can be done in the future to minimise any possible disruption.