Campaigners call for roundabout at dangerous Hastings junction

Campaigners calling for a roundabout to be built at a notorious junction took their protest to the streets on Tuesday evening (April 5).

The protest was organised by Cllr Andy Batsford, one of a number of Hastings Borough Council’s Labour members who have been calling for a roundabout at the junction of The Ridge and Elphinstone Road for years.

Labour councillors and protestors are calling for a roundabout at the junction of Elphinstone Road and The Ridge, Hastings SUS-160704-100811001

Labour councillors and protestors are calling for a roundabout at the junction of Elphinstone Road and The Ridge, Hastings SUS-160704-100811001

But despite speaking to East Sussex County Council many times, and the campaigning efforts of the Pilot Fields Area Residents Association, no action has yet been taken.

Waving banners, the protesters were greeted with appreciative honks from motorists who back the group’s mission to make the road safer.

Since the Link Road opened, traffic has increased on The Ridge, exacerbating existing problems.

It is also making it increasingly difficult for pedestrians to cross, with no crossing nearby for schoolchildren, parishioners or cemetery visitors to use.

Labour councillors and protestors are calling for a roundabout at the junction of Elphinstone Road and The Ridge, Hastings SUS-160704-100832001

Labour councillors and protestors are calling for a roundabout at the junction of Elphinstone Road and The Ridge, Hastings SUS-160704-100832001

Resident Peter Eastman said: “It’s a massive problem. It’s so busy now.

“I would say the traffic has increased by 10-20 percent since the bypass opened.”

Mr Eastman says motorists head down Ochiltree Road in a bid to avoid the area.

He said: “The speeding down there is terrible. They come down at 60 mph.”

Labour councillors and protestors are calling for a roundabout at the junction of Elphinstone Road and The Ridge, Hastings. Cllrs Andy Batsford and Judy Rogers. SUS-160704-100822001

Labour councillors and protestors are calling for a roundabout at the junction of Elphinstone Road and The Ridge, Hastings. Cllrs Andy Batsford and Judy Rogers. SUS-160704-100822001

Another concern for protestors is house building in the area, which will generate even more traffic.

Cllr Batsford said: “What we are saying now is the bypass has been built and we want action now, not in a few years time, not when the Gateway has been built, not when something nasty happens.”

“A roundabout is the cheapest, most effective option. It’s a big enough area.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We do understand residents’ concerns about traffic on The Ridge and this is something we are looking at the moment.

“It’s important before any decision is made on possible improvements in this area that we fully assess the impact of the Link Road traffic on The Ridge and other nearby roads, and this is something we’re currently doing by means of traffic surveys. We haven’t ruled anything out but before we spend taxpayers’ money on a scheme we must make sure it’s going to have the desired effect of improving traffic flow in this area.”

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