Our road-safety fears ‘must be heard’

Tuesday 12th February 2019 7:00 am
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Gemma Peters, Colin Crabb, Michael Hydon and Morty Buffham (Picture by Kitty Aycinena) ()

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A CAMPAIGN to improve road safety in Fernhurst has clearly struck a chord with villagers.

Morty Buffham, who works in Fernhurst, launched the campaign because of her concerns about the dangers posed to residents by drivers speeding through the village on the A286.

The campaign, which she started last year, has snowballed and a Facebook page – Fernhurst Road Safety Group – has just been launched to gather more feedback on the road safety improvements needed.

Evidence is also being gathered about both accidents and ‘near-miss’ incidents to establish what caused them, so dangerous locations and remedial measures can be identified. Speeds within the village’s 30mph zone will be recorded by volunteers on a spot basis.

Key concerns centre on A286 speeding – there is a speed camera on the approach to the village from Haslemere, but campaigners say it is in the wrong place.

Motorists going too fast cause road-safety problems around the Fernhurst Primary School, which is exacerbated by bad parking.

Campiagners say crossing the A286 at the traffic island opposite the Fernhurst Village Hall is dangerous, because the refuge is too narrow for any pedestrian who is unsteady on their feet, or disabled.

Another high risk area is along Vann Road, because of vehicles going too fast around bends and over the brow of the hill from Vann Bridge. Campaigners would like to see ‘no parking’ double yellow lines to be installed at the brow of the hill and on the sharpest bend.

Fernhurst Parish Council is being kept informed about the campaign and the group hopes it will have the authority’s support for the improvements it will eventually request, when they are presented to West Sussex County Council.

Morty told the Herald: “Many people feel the speed camera on the A286 is in the wrong place and that the traffic island on the A286 in the centre of the village is not a safe place to stand.

“We hope we can have a proper Speedwatch campaign with the help of the police to get the county council to listen to us. There have been a number of road-safety incidents in the village.”

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