This is why traffic in Hastings is so slow: traffic lights on bus lanes are timed badly

From: Andy Evison, St Saviour’s Road, St Leonard’s on Sea

Friday, 16th July 2021, 8:00 am
Traffic lights in St Leonards on at the junction between Warrior Square and the westbound side of the A259. Image from Google Maps SUS-210716-075609001

Things seem to have changed recently with the sequencing of the traffic lights on at the junction between traffic leaving Warrior Square and the westbound side of the A259

Let us hope that this is just a brief trial! I had always thought that the bus lane lights were triggered by the presence of a west-bound bus which obviously aids the transit of services travelling in that direction. As a cyclist I have previously waited alone in the bus lane and found my only choice was to filter into the normal traffic lane as the bus lane lights never changed. Not so now.

Someone has arranged to change the sequencing so that the bus lane has two “green light” periods for every one for non-privileged traffic. This happens regardless of whether there are any buses in the bus lane. This often leads to a traffic queue back to the pier and sometimes beyond.

I have also waited in this queue on four or five occasions and observed this sequence over the last couple of weeks. On a journey in the opposite direction this week, I counted four buses delayed in the artificially created queue, unable to reach the bus lane, thereby reducing the punctuality of local bus services.

This change also ensures “stop-go” traffic as vehicles slowly edge towards the traffic lights.

No doubt this increases local emissions over previous traffic flow levels. I fully support the idea of favouring bus traffic as an aid to improving public transport but it should be based on the presence of buses rather than just an empty lane.

It seems likely that this change was made at the behest of someone who has never been and looked at the geography, local situation, and road layout, or considered the potential, and actual consequence of such a change.

I would also assume they never use buses and, therefore, fail to enjoy the tediously slow progress towards the bus lane. This decision should be reviewed and modified to ensure that traffic light favours actual buses.

Could this be the same planner that created the bus lanes between Ravenside and Bulverhythe? Where they created a single shared lane with no passing place on the A259 when an east-bound bus is waiting at the stop nearest to Bexleigh Avenue?

I hope this experiment, if it is one, is quickly abandoned as a complete failure and provides suitable learning points about the folly of arbitrary actions without looking at the local situation.

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