Get involved! Speedwatch volunteers welcome…
WGRA have written before about the challenges of planning the transport options for Westgate given the WHF development, but of course that is some years ahead. In the meantime, we know that traffic volumes and the speed of traffic continue to be issues for Westgate residents.
Westgate is a designated 20mph area, with HGV traffic excluded except if delivering, but we know that traffic, particularly through-traffic, tends to ignore this. The queues at the Sherborne Road roundabout at commuting times can be huge!
Traffic either speeding or piled up in a queue makes the road quite dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, which in turn drives more local residents into their cars! Of course noise and air pollution are additional hazards.
As a committee we can continue to lobby the Council to improve signage and to make good plans for the parking and cycle routes through to the city centre. A 20mph speed limit is not legally enforceable, however, we can as a community take steps to organise our own Speedwatch, using technology to monitor traffic speeds on the road, and have a presence that will hopefully deter motorists from speeding or rat-running, and potentially get the police involved where there are persistent speeding offenders.
Chichester Neighbourhood Policing Team currently loans out its speed calming equipment known as SID’s (Speed Indicator Devices) to volunteers to educate drivers of vehicle speeds in the communities. Volunteers can be trained and provided with safe risk assessed sites to use the equipment. WGRA Committee member Julia Smith has managed to secure an approved site on Westgate where we can “speed watch” and take readings. But we need volunteers to get involved and get trained (not difficult and online) for some sessions in the New Year.
It is a great way to help the police in their work of reminding drivers what the speed limits are in busy traffic areas like Westgate, and to be part of a community initiative which can make a difference. Even having a community presence may make some drivers just stop and think! Please contact Julia directly by email or telephone number 01243 776546 if you would like to find out more and give your time.
For more information, click here and information on the 20s Plenty speed campaign in Chichester is available here.
Other things we as residents can do
- make sure we observe the 20mph limit, and drive slowly and safely, even if there is a tail of traffic behind you!
- always stop for pedestrians, children and make space on the road for cyclist
If you are interested in local community issues around cycling, there are some local initiatives like 20s Plenty, Chi Cycle and other groups that try to work with the County and District Councils.