MP’s driving offence - Sympathy for MP caught speeding

One has to feel an iota of sympathy for Nicholas Soames MP being caught speeding (Mid Sussex Times, November 1).

In recent years in Mid Sussex the link between speed limits and road conditions has been stretched to breaking point. London Road, Handcross (the scene of Mr Soames’ transgression) is a prime example: Outside school pick-up/drop-off times this very wide, rural, straight road with excellent all-round visibility entices motorists to drive safely at 60MPH despite the 30MPH speed limit in place due to the nearby primary school.

There are many other examples in Mid Sussex of roads with surprisingly low speed limits for road conditions (eg Jane Murray Way around Burgess Hill, the A272 through Ansty, approach roads to Ardingly and Turners Hill) with more speed limit reductions due in 2013 and 2014. But the law is the law, and we must obey the law even if it seems inappropriate.

What to do? Mr Soames could install GPS-linked speed limiters in his vehicles (costing less than his £700 fine) and potentially never speed again.

For the rest of us who would like to see speed limits linked to road conditions, we can object online when speed limit reduction TROs (Traffic Regulation Orders) are advertised in the Public Notices section of the Mid Sussex Times, we can attend and voice our opinions at County Local Committee (CLC) meetings (held regularly at various locations in the district - search for CLC on West Sussex County Council’s website) where county councillors decide speed limit reductions, or come next May’s county council elections we can vote for different county councillors.

The worst thing we can do is to do nothing because then we cannot complain when eventually, based on current trends, ALL roads in Mid Sussex have 30 or 40MPH speed limits irrespective of actual road conditions.

Giles Darling,

London Lane,