Battle headteachers throw weight behind 20mph speed limit campaign

Headteachers at three Battle schools have added support for a speed restriction in the town
Headteachers at three Battle schools have added support for a speed restriction in the town

Three headteachers at schools in Battle have provided support for a campaign to lower the speed limit in the town to 20mph.

Paul Swatton, head of Claverham Community College, David Clark of Battle Abbey School and Simon Hughes from Battle and Langton School joined forces on Tuesday to support a petition calling for the implementation of the speed restriction.

The petition – called 20’s Plenty for Battle – was set up by Battle resident Victoria Wilken who said she has been ‘shocked and appalled’ by the speed of motorists during the 18 months she has lived in the town.

She said: “We are absolutely delighted to have the support of Mr Paul Swatton, Claverham Community College, Mr David Clark, Battle Abbey School and Mr Simon Hughes, Battle and Langton School.”

The petition – which Victoria hopes to present to East Sussex County Council – had secured 628 signatures as this newspaper went to print.

Mr Hughes, headteacher at Battle and Langton School, added: “I am delighted to be involved in this project looking at making the town safer.

“During the 16 years I have worked in Battle there have always been concerns around safe driving and parking. Sadly these concerns have now turned into incidents, some with tragic consequences.

“The schools in Battle completely endorse any action to make the area safer for all.”

Paul Swatton, headteacher at Claverham Community College, said his school was ‘fully supportive’ of the campaign with safety ‘at its heart’.

He added: “One of our students was recently knocked down by a car on Battle Hill, and whilst he has thankfully made a full recovery, this incident together with the tragic events of last year, certainly highlight the safety concerns which we have for our students, given the narrow pavements in many areas of the town and the numbers of young people who walk to and from school each day.

“I am certain that the success of this campaign would help to further ensure the safety of the young people whom the schools in Battle serve, together with other members of the local community.”

To sign the petition, visit www.change.org/p/victoria-wilken-20s-plenty-for-battle

David Clark, headmaster at Battle Abbey School said: “The safety and welfare of Battle Abbey School pupils is of the highest priority to us and we fully support the current campaign for a lowered speed limit.

“Battle Abbey School purchased the former Yesterdays World Museum site recently and have repurposed it as a Sixth Form Centre. Now that we operate from two sites either side of Battle High Street we have had far more contact with the dangers of Battle High Street and the often reckless approach drivers take towards what they consider acceptable speed.”