Fears speed cut to 30mph on Hayling Island will cause rat-runs

The yacht being towed to Gosport. Credit: GAFIRS

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PLANS to cut the speed limit on the main road into and out of Hayling Island have been met with anger.

Hampshire County Council has begun a consultation on proposals to cut the limit on Havant Road from 40mph to 30mph.

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

But residents are concerned people will instead use West Lane – an accident black spot which also has a 40mph limit – to cut minutes from their journeys.

Councillor Andy Lenaghan, who represents Hayling on Havant Borough Council, said: ‘I’m a cyclist and a motorist. As a cyclist I would probably feel safer with the restrictions but, as a motorist, I would find it very frustrating.

‘I would like to know how many were at 30mph, 40mph, 50mph or 60mph? Would driving at 30mph have made a difference?

‘It’s a long old haul up to Havant at 30mph and I’m not convinced it’s needed.

‘I’ve got reservations about it. If you get stuck behind somebody on a clear road doing 25mph to 30pm it’s really frustrating and to have that all the time I would feel is unwarranted.

‘There are stretches where it can be justified – such as Stoke village – but not all the way. I prefer the status quo.’

And Paul Fisher, a St Catherines Road resident, agrees.

He said: ‘I’m not a traffic expert but it could cause congestion and the side effect will be an increase in traffic on West Lane, making it even more of a rat-run, making it even more dangerous.’

But Tony Stenning, of Copse Lane, said he supports the move. ‘I live just opposite the post office and that road is a nightmare to cross, particularly in the summer,’ said Mr Stenning. ‘You get continual traffic tearing along. It is very difficult to cross the road as a pedestrian. It’s worse in the summer when all the visitors are here.

‘Traffic coming out of Stoke Fruit Farm turns into a more or less blind corner with traffic going at 40mph. There is a danger of hitting somebody. But I would be happy even if they put a 30mph through Stoke village.’

Councillor Seán Woodward, in charge of transport at the county council, said the proposals had the support of Hampshire Constabulary.

To make a comment write to Stuart Jarvis, director of economy, transport and environment, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UD quoting reference or email public.notices@hants.gov.uk quoting C700/MB by March 7.