The organisers of a campaign to try and get Worthing made a 20 mile per hour zone have accused opponents of ‘scaremongering’. The ’20’s Plenty’ group say they’re saddened 69% of people opposed the idea in a recent consultation but say it was flawed and influenced by false information from opposing group ’20’s Pointless’. The County Council told us any further questions on the consultation process or the report itself will be dealt with by the members of the County Local Commitee at a meeting next Wednesday when a final decision will be made. On their website, the ’20’s Pointless’ group responded to the consulation result by saying ‘common sense has prevailed’. A statement from 20’s Pointless read:  

“20’s Pointless are, naturally, very pleased by the result of the vote on the 20mph proposal but unsurprised. We were always confident that the good sense of the people of Worthing would assert itself if given the chance and this has indeed happened.   We are also very pleased that 20’s Plenty seems to think so much of our campaign and of its effectiveness. However they are too kind: we believe that with such a crushing defeat their proposal never stood a chance of public acceptance if the poll was properly conducted and the views of local people and businesses were heard. Perhaps what made the difference in this consultation was the fact that the public believed there was a genuine choice and the matter was not a ‘done deal’ by officials and others behind closed doors. In consequence people voted against an unwanted and unnecessary proposal.   It important to stress that, contrary to the assertion of 20’s Plenty, the Advertising Standards Authority did not carry out any investigation and did not require us to remove, or alter, any part of our planned advertising. Mr Kay is well aware of this which was, no doubt, a matter of disappointment to him. Wishful thinking has played a large part in 20’s Plenty’s proposal and this assertion is probably just another example but it is regrettable that, knowing the facts, he has continued to claim that they did.”

A final decision will be made on Wednesday. 20’s Plenty said:

  • Scaremongering and false claims of the 20fs Pointless group (in their well funded advertisements which the Advertising Standards Authority subsequently requested were withdrawn).
  • Threats of cuts to bus services made by Compass Travel (but never justified).  It has also come to light that, contrary to the rules of the consultation, the 20fs Pointless group and Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce were distributing consultation forms to opponents of the scheme by email and through their website.

The official West Sussex County Council report is available here: http://www2.westsussex.gov.uk/ds/clc/w/w191114i6b.pdf The summary report to councillors is here: http://www2.westsussex.gov.uk/ds/clc/w/w191114i6.pdf The issue is to be discussed at Worthing CLC meeting on 19 November. Agenda here: http://www2.westsussex.gov.uk/ds/clc/w/w191114age.pdf