New St Leonards bus lanes in Bexhill Road ‘causing near misses’, claim residents

Cllrs Matthew Beaver and Karl Beaney by the new bus lanes SUS-180815-105939001
Cllrs Matthew Beaver and Karl Beaney by the new bus lanes SUS-180815-105939001

New bus lanes along a main road in St Leonards have created near misses among traffic, according to residents.

The county council has installed several bus lanes along Bexhill Road, with two directly opposite each other.

West St Leonards ward councillor Matthew Beaver said: “The fact that these bus stops are opposite each other means if the occasion arises when two buses stop at the same time this will narrow the road to one lane therefore restricting the flow of traffic.”

Fellow ward councillor Karl Beaney said: “Already we are receiving reports from residents who have witnessed near misses where lorries, coaches and even buses have crossed over the centre line in order to keep out of the bus lanes and it is only a matter of time that an accident will happen.”

Cllr Matthew Beaver reiterated his opposition to the Bexhill Road bus lanes. He said: “Nothing I have seen so far, including the placement of the new bus stops has changed my opinion that these lanes are a waste of money and that the money could have been better spent elsewhere including the addition of real-time passenger information displays.

“Both myself and Karl will be monitoring these lanes to see whether they improve traffic flow as we have been told or as we believe will cause more problems at newly created pinch points along the road. This battle might have been lost but the war is certainly not over.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “It was a conscious decision to locate the two new bus stops near to Bexleigh Avenue opposite one another, as it is the bus companies’ preference to have them situated in pairs, and there were various site constraints which determined their exact locations. However, the westbound stop will be within the new bus lane and so will not cause any delays to general traffic. Any traffic held up by an eastbound bus would be able to overtake the bus if it were clear to do so.

“The new configuration still includes one lane of general traffic in each direction, just as before, and the fact buses will now be using the new, additional bus lane means they will cause less of a hold-up to traffic than was previously the case.

“There is still some work to complete, including painting new lines, which will hopefully make the new arrangement clearer for motorists.”

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