Safety fears voiced over crossing scheme

Cllrs Andy Batsford, Warren Davies and Mike Turner with two concerned residents
Cllrs Andy Batsford, Warren Davies and Mike Turner with two concerned residents

PEOPLE’S safety will be put at risk over proposals to place a pedestrian crossing near a busy junction, residents and councillors fear.

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) has put forward plans to site the crossing in Elphinstone Road close to the junctions of Elphinstone Avenue and Blacklands Drive.

But Councillors Andy Batsford, Mike Turner and Warren Davies are not happy and voiced concerns over pedestrians’ and children’s safety.

Cllr Turner said: “Residents have complained that present measures for traffic calming such as the pinch point near the junction with Downs Road, keep left bollards and pedestrian easements, far from improving safety actually add to the problem. After consulting with residents Cllr Davies and myself have requested ESCC installs two pedestrian crossings, one by the BOS playing field and the other at the junction with The Ridge.

“When I first learned of the proposal to site a pedestrian crossing by the junctions of Elphinstone Avenue and Blacklands Drive I was astonished and immediately challenged the proposal with a senior highways officer at ESCC. I again appealed for the crossing to be positioned by the BOS. Outside school hours very few people cross the road at the proposed site whereas, both during school hours and after the schools have closed most pedestrians cross Elphinstone Road higher up the road by the BOS. It is at this location and towards the junction with The Ridge where most of the accidents on Elphinstone Road have occurred. Last year there were five accidents in eight consecutive days.”

Karen Bowles, spokeswoman for ESCC, said: “We are currently in the process of developing proposals to introduce a zebra crossing at the southern end of Elphinstone Road near its junctions with Blacklands Drive and Elphinstone Avenue. We have recently written to those households who would be directly affected, as well as local county and borough councillors, Blacklands Primary School, Baird Primary Academy, the emergency services and Stagecoach. We will be considering the responses received and be presenting a report to the lead member for transport and environment in October.”