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MPs team up to raise A272 concerns
15 May 2007Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert and Horsham MP Francis Maude have met with local residents to hear their concerns about traffic on the A272.
The MPs, whose constituencies are linked by the A272, met residents from Cowfold and West Grinstead last Friday (11 May) to hear their concerns about the speed of traffic along the stretch of road between the two villages and the high number of accidents that have occurred at various locations, such as the Champions Gate crossing, along the route.
Gerry and Irene Perry of Cowfold and Dave Tidey from West Grinstead explained to the two MPs their concerns about safety on the A272, which many vehicles use as a cut through between the M27 on the south coast and the M23 in Surrey.
Mr Maude and Mr Herbert were also briefed on the recent Speed Management Plan, which was commissioned by West Sussex County Council, and which, among other things, suggests a 50 mile per hour speed limit from the west of West Grinstead to the beginning of Cowfold village.
While many of the Plan's proposals have been welcomed by local residents, the campaigners are keen to continue to explore a number of other possible solutions to the problems affecting this stretch of road and the communities that lie along it, something which the MPs have pledged to help them do.
The review of speed limits on the A272 is one of the first to take place in the county and follows Government advice that the existing 60 miles per hour speed limit on single carriageway roads outside towns may be too high.
Residents in Cowfold and West Grinstead, where many properties and businesses face directly on to the road, certainly think that is the case and are now actively pressing their MPs and County Councillors about this.
At the meeting, both MPs agreed to take up the problem with the County Council and the Police.
Mr Herbert also agreed to explore the possibility of new village signs for West Grinstead, not only to improve the identity of the village but also to make drivers more aware of the fact that they are entering a residential area.
Francis Maude commented: "I thought it was important that we saw the frequency and speed of the traffic for ourselves and I can see why residents have deep concerns. We stopped at The Salmon Shop, whose frontage is right on the A272, and vehicles were speeding past.
"I have written to the County Council to ask that changes are implemented as soon as possible - we must do everything we can to prevent another tragedy occurring".
Nick Herbert said: "I am very much aware of the problems of traffic on this stretch of road and the blight that it causes those residents who either live on or close to it.
"I hope that by working together at all levels we will be able to find a satisfactory solution to this problem and one that will guarantee the safety of residents and road users alike."
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