Plans to cut speed limit in Hayling Island to improve safety

Traffic on the Havant Road at Hayling Island between Copse Lane and Stoke Fruit Farm. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (14444-5)
Traffic on the Havant Road at Hayling Island between Copse Lane and Stoke Fruit Farm. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14444-5)

Portsmouth coastguard called to reports of a body near Chichester

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PLANS to cut the speed limit along part of Hayling Island’s main road are set to be approved.

Proposals to cut the limit on Havant Road from 40mph to 30mph are likely to be endorsed by Hampshire County Council following a fierce debate over whether the measures are needed.

Cllr Frank Pearce, the county councillor for the island, says they are – and is recommending that county leaders approve the plan.

It comes after a traffic survey revealed there have been 28 accidents causing injuries on the stretch from New Cut to the junction with Manor Road and Church Road, in the five years since July 2008.

But critics have warned the change will mean more drivers using West Lane – an accident black spot which also has a 40mph limit – to cut minutes from their journeys.

A public consultation saw around 50 written objections and 14 letters of support.

But Cllr Pearce said he had to be mindful of safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

He said: ‘I have to take a broad brush picture and look into the future and encourage people to get on their bikes.

‘A major concern of mine is pushchairs on the side of the road. There’s only pavements on both sides of the road in some sections. The pavement is only a yard wide and it makes mums concerned about the speed of the cars.’

He added: ‘If you hit someone at 40mph, you are going to kill them.

‘If you hit someone at 30mph, they stand a chance.’

Local borough Cllr Andy Lenaghan, also a Conservative, agreed.

He added: ‘I don’t think it’s going to make a lot of difference to anyone’s travelling time on a two-mile stretch.

‘We are talking an extra minute at 30mph against 40mph.’

But Cllr John Perry, the island’s new Ukip member for Havant Borough Council, was for keeping the status quo.

He said: ‘At busy times, even a 30mph limit would not be exceeded.

‘The design of the Havant Road together with the well signposted bends naturally limits drivers to the existing 40mph limit, and to lower speeds adjacent to the bends.

‘I do not believe it would be appropriate to unfairly impede motorists driving safely at 40mph in the short stretches where this is achievable.’

He said the cash would be better spent on improving cycleways.

A final decision will be made at a later date.