LETTER: Traffic calming is too restrictive

Your letters
Your letters

You reported that Slinfold resident, Simon Lacey, had addressed West Sussex County Council’s North Horsham County Local Committee calling for a 40 mph speed limit on the A29 in Slinfold, claiming that Slinfold was the only village on the A29 not to have such a limit.

The A29 passes through the centre of a number of villages, but it does not pass through the centre of Slinfold and is almost a bypass to the village. There are about a dozen houses within Slinfold Parish that front onto the A29.

It is therefore similar to Rowhook and Parbrook which do not have speed limits.

Mr Lacey referred to his 275 signatory petition. He toured the village asking for people to sign to reduce excessive speed on the A29.

Many people support reducing excessive speed but few saw the actual wording which, in addition to a 40 mph limit, called for the road to be traffic calmed so that vehicles travelling in opposite directions would have to stop to give way; this on a road that has been a major thoroughfare for nearly 2,000 years.

I subsequently found many in the village who did not realise what they had committed to. The parish council has viewed his proposals as unrealistic but has asked the police to conduct speed checks. The police, I understand, do not view the road as particularly dangerous.

Mr Lacey has chosen to live close to, but not fronting, the A29 and must have been aware that noise would be potentially troublesome. He does suffer from motor bike noise, particularly at weekends. Noise from bikes does seem to be something of a problem area. An internet search shows that there is a noise limit on motor bike exhaust, but there is apparently no practical method of measurement. The MoT test seems to rely on the tester listening to judge whether the noise is excessive.

There also seems to be a practice of changing the exhaust, replacing an approved exhaust with one designed for racing, or even removing the baffles from the silencer to increase the noise level. http://www.govyou.co.uk/ban-loud-vehicle-exhaust-modification/ is worth looking at to appreciate the situation, though the language used may cause offence.

Mr Lacey suffers the results of such malpractices and I would fully support some means of restricting excessive noise, but whatever is done should not impose serious restrictions on all other road users.


The Street, Slinfold