Worthing County Local Committee (CLC) voted unanimously last night (Wednesday September 4th) to identify sufficient resources to fund 20 mph zones subject to public consultation.
Cllr Steve Waight moved an amendment to the recommendation in the officers’ report which reviewed the Worthing Infrastructure Plan and Montague Street Town Centre Enhancement Scheme. The report recommendation made no mention of funding for the 20 mph scheme. Cllr Bob Smytherman seconded the amendment and all nine members agreed.
Cllr Smytherman said: “I was delighted to second Cllr Waight’s proposal to give Worthing people a say on whether they want 20 mph limits in their streets and to make the money available for implementation. I would urge residents concerned about speeding traffic to respond to the consultation so we can make our town safer for all road users.”
Supporters of Twenty’s Plenty staged a peaceful protest before the meeting and packed the meeting to capacity. They feared through their reading of the report available funds were being diverted to the repaving of Montague Street and pushing 20 mph zones into the distant future.
Worthing CLC Chair Cllr Paul High threw open the debate to the public and views were expressed from Duncan Kay of Twenty’s Plenty, John Coote of Sustrans, Cllr Paul Yallop Leader of Worthing Borough Council and Chris Spratt of Worthing Town Centre Initiative among others.
Discussion revolved around the available amount of S.106 developer contributions for transport use. Mr Coote of Sustrans pointed out the repaving of Montague Street would not be a legitimate use of funds allocated to sustainable transport. Mr Spratt of Worthing Town Centre Initiative urged the members of the CLC to support the Montague Street scheme and bat for Worthing.
S.106 monies are a condition of granting planning approvals to developers to provide funds for infrastructure.
The amendment approved read: “That a town-wide consultation on a proposed Worthing 20 mph speed limit scheme in line with *Option 2 be progressed. Scheme delivery is ‘subject to the outcome of public consultation’ but the priority also provides a commitment to identify sufficient resources to progress any agreed scheme.”
*Option 2 proposes: a town-wide 20 mph speed limit scheme, which excludes A and B class and some local distributor roads but also minimises the inclusion of residential streets not conforming to relevant design guidance. The scheme cost is initially estimated to be up to £350k. This option is recommended for consultation because it is the most likely to achieve a sustained reduction in traffic speed across the town.”