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20 mph Speed Limit in Lewes

On 24 Jun 2012 at 8:57pm the old mayor wrote:
So the Council are pushing ahead with the proposed 20 mph speed limit. Spending/Investing our money wisely on lots of new signs and white lines. It will cost £2,000 for signage in Landport alone. However, the council freely admit the average speed in the town is 24 mph already. There have been 2 personal injury accidents in the last 3 years in Landport, according to the petition. So I ask is it really worth spending all this money to reduce the speed limit down 4 mph ??
Mind you they can then employ more Gestapo to fine speeders, but the town wont reap any additional income for their services, as per normal.
Come namby pambies !!
On 24 Jun 2012 at 9:08pm Fairmeadow wrote:
Silly idea, but exactly what you have to expect if you vote in Lib Dem & Green councillors.
On 24 Jun 2012 at 10:47pm GhostBike wrote:
" the council freely admit the average speed in the town is 24 mph already. So I ask is it really worth spending all this money to reduce the speed limit down 4 mph ??"
The average is a measure of central tendency. If the average is 24 mph it suggests that half the time cars are going faster than 24 mph. So this isn't the "speed limit" at all.
If we introduce a 20mph limit it will restrict the maximum, the average will obviously be less than that - probably more like 14.
I'm a bit worried that you think a speed limit is an indication of the average speed you should be going. If that is a typical attitude in Lewes it explains a lot!!
On 24 Jun 2012 at 11:13pm scary portas wrote:
Ridiculous, and in a conservation area and South Downs National Park to start sticking lovely signs up - what a shambles, ill thought out, no real benefit, where is the risk (lots of accidents???).
Spend it on getting people into the town, not keeping people out.
On 24 Jun 2012 at 11:36pm SOM wrote:
20 MPH, This is just a con so that the council can fine people that go over by 2 MPH,
We have already seen the street parking in Lewes and now this, I read that its to make the streets safer and reduce noise what bollox ...
Moden cars are much quieter and the stoping power of new cars is somewhere around 8 times that of cars that were driving in the town when the 30 MPH was set up.
The town is dead now days I have a small business in the town and I really don't think this will bring more trade in.....
I can hear people already saying Lewes don't go there you get ripped off if you park and done for speeding .... thank ESCC ...Wa..kers
On 25 Jun 2012 at 12:14am Dave wrote:
20mph! Of ffs get a life
This is the aged 'friends of Lewes' idea isn't it.
On 25 Jun 2012 at 6:44am Sceptic wrote:
Cheeky sod, I am one of the so called aged of Lewes and I can walk faster than 20mph. Perhaps the council will bring out a walk speed restriction. Also what about cyclists, I am sure some of them can pedal faster than 20mph, will they get done as well.
On 25 Jun 2012 at 7:56am The Super K wrote:
20mph!!??!!! Around Schools ok, but everywhere?
This towns going down the sh1tter
On 25 Jun 2012 at 8:04am Earl of Lewes wrote:
24mph? If only! 17mph seems to be the going rate for most of the people I'm stuck behind, while they either look for a parking space near the post office or slow down to gawp at Keere Street.
On 25 Jun 2012 at 8:08am Pete wrote:
Dear me, come on guys, take a deep breath and calm down. I'd like to think that Lewes is a nice friendly place where we take things slowly. Relax and chill out, take life easy. (and no, I haven't been on the magic mushrooms...more's the pity!)
On 25 Jun 2012 at 8:48am Sussex Jim wrote:
And just how are they going to enforce this limit?
On 25 Jun 2012 at 10:06am Mercian wrote:
Well, that is the question SussexJim. I think people drive far too fast through Lewes given its narrow streets - particularly at the Bottleneck and down Fisher Street. My preferred option would be getting rid of cars altogether f rom a lot of the centre! Plenty of places on the continent manage it and still remain vibrant and businesslike.
Never mind the Clarksons on this thread - just read the evidence:

Check it out here »
On 25 Jun 2012 at 10:18am queequeg wrote:
And some places try removing all traffic signs and lights and allow a free for all. You have to drive very carefully then, and a parking free for all would slow traffic as well. This happened in the months before the current scheme was introduced. The old wardens were got rid of before the new scheme was introduced, a few months of what I still remember as a golden age!!!!!
On 25 Jun 2012 at 10:40am Merlin Milner wrote:
The Council that some refer to is East Sussex County Council (Tory run) who are in charge of highways and are in charge of doing this. The Town Council are paying for the signage. Over the years there has much pressure from non Council bodies and residents for the 20mph limit and also support from Lewes Town Council.
Please remember that there are 3 Councils that serve us.
On 25 Jun 2012 at 11:08am Deelite wrote:
I wish councils would just bite the bullet and ban cars from the whole of the town centre immediately? The town would be so much more pleasant without the motor car.
On 25 Jun 2012 at 11:17am Southover Queen wrote:
I'm very much with Mercian here. There are few streets in the town proper where a speed faster than 20 is safe, and frankly in many of them 20 would be far too fast - the roads around me, for instance. Could you stop if a child ran out in front of you? What if a car came out of a side turning? If you couldn't stop you're going too fast.

The fact is though that a 20mph speed limit prevails in most of Southover, but there are quite a few people who take no notice of it whatsoever. Introducing speed limits is all very well, but they do need to be observed and occasionally enforced. And in any case the Highway Code states quite clearly that it is the responsibility of the driver to drive at a speed appropriate to the conditions - and frankly 17mph through the bottleneck strikes me as plenty fast enough.
On 25 Jun 2012 at 11:24am Mercian wrote:
Be careful what you wish for. Look what happened in Aberystwyth.

Check it out here »
On 25 Jun 2012 at 11:28am someone else wrote:
I'm all for it. There's no need for anyone to drive faster than 20mph through town - in fact if you try and drive as fast as 20 on Fisher Street, Market Street or up Station Street it's downright dangerous.

People whinging about extra signs are just plain wrong: if part of the town is currently 20 and part currently 30, then clearly there will be fewer signs if the whole town is 20.

If anything it will bring more people in to shop on the High Street because it'll be a more pleasant place to walk.

Mind you, I've yet to see any enforcement of the 30 limit in town, so I doubt there will be any for 20.
On 25 Jun 2012 at 12:28pm Anna Semlyen wrote:
20mph limits are supported by 75% of people in British Attitudes surveys. They are popular, safer (22% fall in casualties in 2 years in Portsmouth), actually smoothe traffic flow so that people reach their destinations quicker, 12% less fuel is used due to less braking and accelleration. They are EU and DfT best practice where there are likely to be pedestrians and cyclists. In Bristol walking and cycling increased up to 12% so its healthy too. Its 40% quieter and makes for a better quality of life for all. Highly cost-effective with over 800% first year rates of return on casualties avoided. Cost is about £2-£3 per head of population.
Read all the evidence at www.20splentyforus.org.uk

Check it out here »
On 25 Jun 2012 at 12:43pm Ducatipete wrote:
Has anyone walked around the town and seen the number of signs there are and we are now adding to them. Who will police the new limit as I have not seen a speed trap for years. Give the wardens a hand held number?
On 25 Jun 2012 at 1:51pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Most people are law abiding and the 20mph limit will reduce speeds as Anna says above.
Granted there are some pointless signs. Especially the ones forbidding drinking on the streets. Ignored by those who do, unenforceable during bonfire and pointless because most people do not drink on the streets.
On 25 Jun 2012 at 2:33pm SOM wrote:
Ban all cars,vans ,lorry's lets shut all the shops as well in fact lets have no business in Lewes...
How the f--k are you meant to run a business here.. some people are so small minded
If you ban all cars etc you can not get any good's in and out of the town ,
That mean's no doctors, dentists, No Police,Hospital, shops , cafes etc, Surely even the Lewes greens can see that ?
On 25 Jun 2012 at 2:45pm Mercian wrote:
Yes SOM, in our twin town of Waldshut in Germany, cars are banned from the centre area of the city (although of course deliveries are allowed). As you can see it is a run-down ghost town:

Check it out here »
On 25 Jun 2012 at 6:33pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Much of the town centre has houses in it. If you live on the High Street or one of the streets just off it, how are you supposed to get your shopping home if you can't drive your car there?
I also don't get the bottleneck being a problem for speed. After all, it's one way mat a time and Westgate Street is controlled by traffic lights, so no-one should be pulling out when traffic is moving along the High Street.
I'm in favour of 20mph in strictly residential areas such a Landport and Nevill, but a 20 mph limit along the through roads seems silly imo. In the daytime you'd have a hard job doing more than that, and in the evenings and at night it's unnecessary imo.
Beats me how the town council got lumbered with cost of signage, too.
On 25 Jun 2012 at 9:14pm the old mayor wrote:
Its really a surprise there isn't carnage in every street, with dead bodies everywhere and car wrecks scattered about on every corner. How did we ever survive ??
Nanny ? Help !!!
On 25 Jun 2012 at 10:19pm SOM wrote:
I think its very simply the clue is in the name.... Lewes TOWN !
If you like a quiet life and no traffic (Like I do) live in the countryside . You can drive in to the town where it's always been a place for selling and shop etc.... I seem to remember Lewes is a Market Town....
Don't move into a TOWN and then try to convert it to the country . Simply really :-)
On 25 Jun 2012 at 11:35pm Darwin Awards wrote:
FFS, why can't people check the roads before crossing?
As for cyclists - millions of pounds of new cycle paths for the non road tax paying leeches - let's hope it keeps them OFF the road.
(mind you, Brighton have introduced cyclists being permitted to cycle the wrong way down one way streets - how bloody stupid is that?)
On 26 Jun 2012 at 7:26am Mercian wrote:
ACT - you're assuming that the only issue is cars encountering other cars. Try pushing a buggy or holding a 3 year olds hand on the very narrow pavement of the bottleneck or fisher street as cars whizz past a few inches from your head. You might feel differently. I also fail to see why you'd need to drive faster than 30mph through the bottleneck, you're bound to encounter traffic the other side or - who knows - a dad crossing with his child.
Yes, lewes is a town. Towns are for people, not cars. If you like driving cars, live in the countryside. Incidentally. ACT, I am not advocating banning cars, just taming them, as many towns on the continent do successfully without curtailing business or resident access..
On 26 Jun 2012 at 9:22am Southover Queen wrote:
People who actually live on the High Street park in the side streets anyway, so restricting traffic would hardly be that onerous. You'd just give them access for loading/unloading (which is how the Cliffe is supposed to operate). You'd also have to keep the bus route etc.

I cannot see that restricting traffic would have anything except a beneficial effect on most of the shops; certainly the present arrangement is failing dismally. There's never anywhere to park on the road and illegally parked vehicles, buses and delivery vans make it a really tricky section to negotiate. So if there's nowhere to park anyway, why would restricting through traffic make it less commercially viable? I suspect it would have the opposite effect. Plus, as Mercian says, reducing traffic would mean that all pedestrians would have a chance of crossing the road without being mown down - at the moment you need to be very fleet of foot to cross the road.

As for the bottleneck, at the moment traffic bombs through there, which is what makes turning out of Rotten Row so hair raising. As it stands the only safe time to move is when the eastbound queue is has a green light, but how many times has some joker jumped the lights at the other end and screeched round the old toll house to be met by someone pulling out of there? I repeat: it is not safe to speed through there.

It seems to me to be about priorities. This is an old town which was demonstrably not designed for cars: it was made by people. The town and its citizens would be far better off if cars had to share the space a little more equally.
On 26 Jun 2012 at 11:02am Undercover wrote:
On Sunday night (8pm ish), whilst off duty, I stopped a young girl who was doing 50mph down the High Street in her little red citroen. She passed me as I was waiting to pull out near the old Meridian pub site. I followed her and spoke to her by the White Hart traffic lights. She looked concerned but not overly so.
I told her that a driving licence is a privilege and that I would be reporting her reg. number to traffic officers to keep a look out for the vehicle.
I know we were all young and stupid at least once, but sometimes people need a little reminder of how much damage a 1 ton lump of metal, moving at speed, can do to a human body.
On 26 Jun 2012 at 12:01pm Its Not Rocket Science wrote:
I don't see how pedestrianisation of the High Street would work. It works in Cliffe High Street, and in the Kaiserstrasse in Waldshut, because neither of these are the main thoroughfare through the town. Waldshut has plenty of other parallel roads, not to mention a main road running straight through the middle of the town, so not a fair comparison.
If our High Street was blocked off to traffic, then where would it all disappear to? I can't see the residents of Southover or Wallands areas being to keen on the idea. Not to mention the inevitable loss of even more on street parking.
On 26 Jun 2012 at 12:50pm Mercian wrote:
It would require a bit of creative thinking. A first step would be to pedestrianise Fisher Street and allow traffic coming out of Station street to turn right. That would create pedestrian routes from the castle area to the Needlemakers and beyond. You could also pedestrianise the High Street from the war memorial to the precinct and force all traffic coming out of Eastgate street to go straight on.
This might not be viable long-term; I think the solution might need to be more radical. A car park around the Ham Lane area accessed directly from the A27 with no further access to town except for deliveries. You could also introduce measures to reduce through traffic.
There could also be traffic calming measures on the High Street.
As an outside, I have to say Lewes is one of the most beautiful towns in the country - but one spoilt by the amount of traffic running through ancient streets. Given that the amount of car journeys is going to carry on increasing over the next 10 to 20 years, we need to do something, or the qaulity of the environment in the cntre of the town will deteriorate.
it's no good shrugging your shoulders and accepting that what we have will do, or is the best we can have. The car might represent progress, but an urban environment clogged up with cars and exhaust fumes isn't my idea of moving forward. Inventive and creative urban planning can come up with a solution.
On 26 Jun 2012 at 12:58pm Southover Queen wrote:
Presumably much the same was said of pedestrianising the Cliffe? I rarely use the High Street to go from the precinct (for instance) to Southover - there are plenty of other ways. And anyway the problem is almost certainly much more to do with through traffic than residents going from one side of town to the other.

How about making the tiny number of parking spots (which are always full anyway) open only to disabled users? And increase the number of "loading" spaces so that everyone who legitimately NEEDS access will be able to park without blocking the road?

There are ways of making the High Street a better space for everyone but it takes a little imagination. And you really cannot persuade me that the status quo is anything but an abject failure, for road users, pedestrians and businesses.
On 26 Jun 2012 at 1:15pm Mr Forks wrote:
Pedestrianise the whole of the centre of Lewes and introduce a tram system, perfect! Oh and if the average speed is currently 24mph why is it so hard for drivers to slow down that 4mph on average. It's 4mph get over it you gas guzzling, polluting, toad of toad hall speed freaks!
On 26 Jun 2012 at 1:50pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
If Eastgate Street traffic was forced to go straight on, anyone wanting to head for Nevill or Wallands would have to go all round the back doubles and out on to Offham Road by the Ellie, or via Southover.
Residents there will be far from chuffed and emissions would increase because a lot of people would be driving further.
Still, it'll be all right when they knock down county hall and build a nice Sainsburys on the site so us folk don't have to cross town to get our shopping.
On 26 Jun 2012 at 2:15pm single tissue wrote:
Mercian is right pedestrianise and get a small fleet of 30 seater buses to take people who need them up and down the town all towns that pedestrianise get more trade and property becomes more desirable
On 26 Jun 2012 at 2:17pm single tissue wrote:
Mercian is right pedestrianise and get a small fleet of 30 seater buses to take people who need them up and down the town all towns that pedestrianise get more trade and property becomes more desirable

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