A haven of peace and road safety

The recent serious accident in Monks’ Walk, Winchelsea (Rye Observer, August 12) is a very sad illustration of the accident risks of that section of the road through the town.

Monks’ Walk, being a long, straight stretch of road out of Winchelsea, and where the speed limit suddenly changes from 30 to 40mph, is particularly prone to immediate acceleration and its attendant risks.

It seems senseless that the speed limit increases there, especially in view of the hazards associated with drivers pulling into and out of the lay-by outside the public toilets just where the 40mph stretch begins.

Whatever the cause of this particular accident, traffic-calming measures on Monks’ Walk are clearly long overdue.

This would also have the effect of deterring drivers from using the road as an alternative to the A259.

It is a matter of regret that, when Winchelsea residents were given the opportunity a few years ago to close the town to through traffic, there was a majority against doing so. Consequently, despite the valiant efforts of Speedwatch volunteers, the road through the town has continued to be a race track for drivers using it to get ahead of traffic on the A259. Surely it is time to give serious reconsideration to closing Winchelsea to through traffic.

Far from discouraging potential customers for the town’s businesses, which was the main objection to the plan, it would almost certainly make it even more attractive to visitors likely to patronise those businesses.

The writer Malcolm Saville, once a resident there in the 1970s before the massive increase in road traffic, described Winchelsea as ‘sleeping peacefully upon its hill’. Winchelsea, freed from often speeding through traffic, could again be a haven of peace and road safety.

Elaine Luke

The Close

Fairlight

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