Horse riders campaign for Sompting and A27 speed limit reduction

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HORSE riders are campaigning for speed limits to be reduced in Sompting and on the A27 – to prevent them being put in danger every time they venture out on to the roads.

Philip Godley, 63, of St Mary’s Close, Sompting, has pleaded with Sompting Parish Council to review the 30mph speed limit in West Street after his wife and daughter were almost knocked off their horses.

He said: “My wife and daughter were riding their horses in West Street and a car came up very fast behind them, exceeding the 30mph limit and this almost became another death.”

Caroline Almond, 42, of Orchard Avenue, Lancing, has kept her horse in a field in West Street for a few years.

She said people have started to move away as it is too dangerous to ride in the area.

“I have had people wind down their window and shout at me,” she said. “It has got a lot worse in the past two years. When drivers come along this road, rather than slow down, they speed up – especially if they see a horse coming.”

Mr Godley said the situation had become much worse, with cars speeding through the rural village and “changing the nature” of the area.

He said the traffic calming measures, such as pinch points, introduced in the road had actually made the situation worse.

Now he has called for the parish council to back a 20mph speed limit campaign to make the village safer.

At a council meeting on Wednesday, December 14, councillors said there was not a long enough stretch of West Street to install a speed camera but they would look into the situation.

Parish council chairman Barry Mear said: “We have tried to do the right thing and it has created a bigger problem.”

Mr Godley has also called for the A27 speed limit to be reduced to 40mph so riders can cross the road to access the downs like they did in the past, rather than having to drive there.

A Highways Agency spokesperson said gaps in the crash barriers on the A27 were not designed for horses.

However, he did say the agency was hoping to carry out further safety review of the whole A27 through Worthing early next year.