Petition Leads To Pledge For Road Safety Measures On Ditchling Road

rob_banks_ditchling_road_plumpton_600.jpgLocal Councillors have welcomed a pledge to tackle road safety - but have warned more needs to be done to tackle a notorious accident hotspot on the Ditchling Road near Plumpton.

This follows a petition collected and handed in by Cllr Rob Banks (Lib Dem District Councillor for Plumpton and East Chiltington) and Cllr Sarah Osborne (Lib Dem County Councillor for Plumpton) after a coach crashed into a field, injuring 12 students from Plumpton College.

While some remedial work was carried out following last year’s crash, Cllrs Banks and Osborne are urging the County Council to do more.

Speaking to a Transport and Environment meeting of County Councillors, Cllr Banks said: "The B2116/Ditchling Road has a history of accidents, but this particular hotspot has several incidents to its name with a number of vehicles coming off the road over the years.

"For example just a month or so following the coach crash, a recovery vehicle came off the road at the same point. When they hear of another accident, local residents will raise their eyebrows and say 'did it come off at the usual place?'

"Luckily no lives were lost in the coach crash but we need to make sure lives are not put at risk in the future. The measures taken last year to highlight the edge of the road and to address the undulation in the road will help but needs to go much further.

"The road has a steep drop into the field where vehicles routinely come off - so a bank needs building up.

“A speed limit reduction for that stretch of the road could help. And the width of the road at that point is narrow, making it difficult for large vehicles to safely pass each other.

Speaking after the meeting, he added: "It is proof that the infrastructure in our rural area is utterly unsuitable for large scale proposals such as the potential Eton College site - the transport system just wouldn't be able to cope".

sarah_osborne_02_600_cropped.jpgCllr Osborne added: “I welcome the steps taken to ensure better safety at the junction with the A275, and while it is good to see there could be safety improvements along the Ditchling Road as a result of this petition, I look forward to hearing the detail. This must include building up the bank at the spot where so many vehicles have come off ”.

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