Please drive safely

I READ with interest your front page article on May 10 relating to speeding on the B2178, and the report of the accident last May in this week’s Observer, because two members of our family were involved in an accident on October 26 last year at the Salthill Rd/Hunters Ride Blackspot.

As residents living on the B2178 in East Ashling for almost 30 years, we are well aware that traffic through our village, more often than not, is disregarding the 30mph limit. As a result there have been several incidents in recent years.

We are also aware when travelling between our village and Chichester of cars ‘edging out’ of both Salthill Road and Hunters Ride. At times we thought this was because Volvo driving lights were mistaken for a signal for another vehicle to proceed but, it frequently happens when driving our other vehicle as well.

On October 26 last our then 20-year-old grandaughter, with her mum as passenger, left our home to drive back to Burgess Hill, via Chichester, at around 4.40pm in the afternoon. Five minutes or so later we got a phone call to say that just one mile along the road a car emerging from Salthill Road had propelled them into a telegraph pole and through a hedge.

We arrived at the scene of the accident to find a homeward-bound ambulance had come upon the accident and had taken them on board for attention. They were shaken but amazingly did not have a scratch between them. The telegraph pole was sticking out from under the boot of the car which was all that was visible. The rest of the car was through the hedge.

Our granddaughter had been driving since her 17th birthday and had driven a great many miles since. She was driving at a sensible speed – the airbags of the Fiesta did not deploy on impact. On seeing the wreck the following morning at the breakers’ yard we thought it no less than a miracle that they were both still alive. However, in the aftermath both mother and daughter had whiplash resulting in a series of visits to a physiotherapist.

The Fiesta was a low-mileage, well-maintained, seven-and-a-half-year-old car I had passed on to my granddaughter ten months before to ensure she had a reliable vehicle to drive. To replace it with a vehicle of similar reliability has meant taking on a loan.

So please remember all this when exiting from Salthill Road/Hunters Ride. If you are tempted to beat the oncoming traffic, don’t. And please, please drive carefully through our village.

Sylvia Jones


East Ashling