Brighton & Hove Labour For the many, not the few
Labour Councillor Nancy Platts and local residents have achieved their goal of lowering the speed limit on Wilson Avenue.
In the three years to the end of January 2022 there were twelve collisions over the length of Wilson Avenue resulting in twenty casualties. In some cases, out of control vehicles ended up damaging people’s properties.
After receiving complaints about the accidents, Nancy contacted the Council to ask for a reduction in speed limits.
Nancy and residents were told that Sussex Police would not support a reduced speed limit because they considered the area to be ‘semi-rural.’ The Police felt 40mph to be appropriate because not many people crossed the road to get to the park.
At the same time, health and wellbeing organisations were undertaking research about why more people didn’t use East Brighton Park. No prizes here for guessing that it was due to Wilson Avenue feeling unsafe because of traffic speeds. As one resident said:
“The fact that there is a children’s playground in the park should make the Council think about safe crossing, I would never let a child or young person go to the park alone due to the speed and lack of crossings on Wilson Ave.”
Not being one to take no for an answer, Nancy set about empowering local people. Nancy and a team of local Labour Party members door-knocked and delivered letters to Wilson Avenue and nearby streets to see if there was support to take action. Residents in Wilson Avenue followed up with a survey of more than one hundred neighbours, asking them if they would like the speed limit reduced from 40mph to 30mph outside their homes.
Campaigner Harry Butler led a deputation to Brighton and Hove City Council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee in June, after 60 of the 75 people who responded backed the move.
Mr Butler said:
“There is a real sense of relief about the council’s decision to introduce this order as there is an abiding sense of fear that if the present, largely ignored, limit of 40mph was to continue, we would be witnessing another serious accident or a tragedy again.”
“I think many people were uncertain of how to appeal to the council but, with the help of our local councillor, Nancy Platts, we were guided through the procedures and are happy that the order is now being advertised – as they promised.”
The reduction in the speed limit on Wilson Avenue from 40mph to 30mph should be introduced by the end of this year.
Image: Creative Commons