Councillor says safety scheme will not help

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A SCHEME to cut accidents on a dangerous bottleneck junction in Polegate will not solve the problem, according to one county councillor.

After a nine-year wait for Polegate residents, work is underway to widen the carriageway and bring in a dedicated right-hand-turn lane from the A27 into Gainsborough Lane, on the Stud Farm Estate, pictured above.

But East Sussex County Councillor Stephen Shing, who has been lobbying the Highways Agency to bring in safety measures on the busy junction, says the scheme will not help the backlog of motorists who need to pull onto the A27 from the estate.

“They have only done half the job,” he told the Gazette.

“The improvements will not help residents turning out of the junction to Eastbourne. During peak hours drivers have to wait from between half an hour, up to 45 minutes to access the A27.

“We have lobbied the Highways Agency to revisit the scheme again or introduce traffic lights or a roundabout to help the residents turning out of the junction.”

Polegate MP Norman Baker also contacted the Highways Agency over the need for entrance and exit improvements at the junction.

He said, “I know that some residents of the Stud Farm Estate are understandably concerned about exiting onto the A27, and I agree with those concerns.

“The Highways Agency does need to continue to look at ways to resolve that problem, but there is a relatively high casualty rate for collisions that have occurred when entering Gainsborough Lane and I therefore welcome the steps that the Highways Agency is taking to address this.”

According to Highways Agency figures there have been a total of six incidents at the Gainsborough Lane junction since 2004 with a total of 18 people injured, including one serious injury.

A Highways Agency spokesman said the majority of accidents involved, “rear end shunts” when motorists were waiting to turn right into the estate.

Work on the five-week scheme will take place on week nights, starting from Monday January 10 with weeknight lane closures on the A27 at the Gainsborough Lane junction between 8pm and 6am.

Temporary traffic lights will be in operation and the existing 40mph speed limit on Lewes Road will be temporarily extended.

There will be a closure of the A27 junction with Gainsborough Lane between 8pm and 6am, with a diversion route through Brown Jack Avenue, into Bahram Road or Golden Miller Lane to access the estate or the A27.