EARLY this month local and county councillors organised a public meeting to discuss concerns about and solutions to the problem of The Ridge/Elphinstone Road junction and the increasing use of Elphinstone Road as a racetrack.
The meeting was also attended by three officials from East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and by a police representative.
Everyone who has to use the junction of The Ridge and Elphinstone Road, either as a pedestrian or as a driver, knows all too well that it is a front-runner for the title of Worst Managed Junction in Hastings.
The road works a few years back (which happened as if by magic: no information, no consultation) removed the west side northward filter lane and worsened the situation rather than improving it.
The meeting enthusiastically endorsed the now-historic request of the Pilot Residents’ Association, also backed by newer associations, to install a roundabout at the top of Elphinstone Road and a controlled pedestrian crossing.
But the response of the ESCC representatives was disappointing. ESCC appears to see no real problem with the present situation and intends to wait until the link road has been in place long enough to see its effect (from the safe distance of Lewes perhaps). There will eventually be ‘modelling’ to ascertain the new road’s effect’. This will be followed by ‘consultation’. When pressed for a time scale, we were told that nothing would happen until ‘2016 at the earliest’.
Residents’ and councillors’ arguments that new arrangements for this already notorious junction must be in place before the Link Road opens to traffic and the huge Osborne House Estate is built, failed to sway the officials to urge ESCC to change its views.
The Observer recently publicised Amber Rudd’s campaign to install the Baldslow Link as part of the Link Road scheme, in the hope that this will take Hastings traffic onto the A21 rather than The Ridge and its feeder roads.
We urge residents and Ridge/Elphinstone users to continue pressing our councillors and MP to push for what we all know is essential here and to join their local residents’ associations to put added pressure on ESCC. The alternative is to continue waiting patiently for up to 10 minutes to drive through this road junction or even to cross it on foot. For another three years at least.
Pilot Field Area Residents’ Association