30mph limit needed

I FEEL I must respond to last week’s letter from the Rev John Collins with regard to the implementation of a 30mph limit through West Dean.

I am writing on behalf of the staff, governors and 97 young children who attend West Dean Church of England Primary School and also the many vulnerable and elderly who have to cross the road on a regular basis each day, who have all campaigned tirelessly to reduce the speed of traffic along the A286.

The A286 divides the community of West Dean village, with the church, shop and pub on the south side of the road and the school and a large housing development on the north side.

Crossing the road at any time of the day is extremely dangerous, with traffic descending at speed from both directions.

The police objected on the basis that unless major engineering works are carried out to slow down the traffic, the perceived view of motorists will be that they can drive faster than the reduced speed limit, thus encouraging motorists to break the law.

As a practising Christian myself, I’m sure the Rev Collins will agree that the bible has taught us that ‘signs’ play an important part of Christ’s teaching.

The ‘motorist’s bible’ – that long-forgotten little book The Highway Code – makes no mention of a motorist’s perceived view. It clearly states that a red circle with a number inside is the maximum speed at which a vehicle should travel.

These are prohibitive signs.

Decreasing the speed limit from 40mph down to 30mph will increase the journey time through the village by approximately 30 seconds.

Surely the potential loss of a life is worth so much more?

I do not wish to get into a long dialogue through this column, therefore I openly invite the Rev Collins to come with me to visit the school and meet the pro-active head mistress, her dedicated staff and pupils, to view their work, which has resulted in a recent outstanding Ofsted report.

Mike Hall

West Sussex county councillor for Chichester North