Huw Merriman, MP for the Bexhill and Battle constituency, discussed the issue of speeding and road safety when he met the new Hastings and Rother District Commander, Chief Inspector Sarah Godley, and temporary East Sussex Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Jason Taylor, at Bexhill Police Station last Friday.
After welcoming DI Godley to her new post, Huw expressed his concerns about speeding, especially in rural areas and near schools in the Bexhill and Battle constituency as this is a complaint often brought to him by local councillors and residents.
CI Sarah Godley told Huw that there are now 31 Community Speedwatch teams in Rother with over 230 volunteers who are trained and supported by the police. She explained that the data they gather is really important in highlighting the areas where speeding is a real problem so that the police and the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership can tackle it with a variety of measures.
Huw said “I am very supportive of Community Speedwatch, having joined a number of teams across the constituency to see them at work. I know they are very effective in improving driver behaviour, especially in rural areas. However, I would also like to see some more direct enforcement action from Sussex Police and the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership to tackle areas where speeding is proven to be a problem. I am particularly concerned about speeding and road safety outside schools. I would like every community, who requests help, to have their roads tested for speed. Where those tests reveal speeding beyond the lawful limits, I would like Sussex Police, who should be about to gain an extra £22m, to assist with appropriate enforcement measures and send a message that excessive speed will not be tolerated on our local roads.”
CI Godley and Chief Supt Taylor agreed to support Huw’s aim to further help rural communities where speeding was proven to be an issue. Huw will be contacting the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership for their data on problem areas and to discuss possible action plans. The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership brings together teams from Sussex Police, East and West Sussex County Councils, East and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services, Brighton and Hove City Council and Highways England. Huw aims to hold a parish council conference on speeding later in the year so local concerns can be shared and addressed.
Huw commented “I always look forward to my regular update meetings with Sussex Police senior offices. Our full and frank discussions about the concerns and challenges facing our area are very helpful in focussing my efforts in Parliament to support our local police officers and the priorities for our area.”
Members of the public wishing to report concerns about road safety outside schools such as unnecessary obstruction, speeding, not wearing seatbelts, using mobile phones whilst driving and general careless driving can contact Operation Crackdown http://www.operationcrackdown.org/ or telephone 01243 64 22 22.