Bus lane plans in the pipeline for Eastbourne

Cars and buses work their way along the very busy Kings Drive
Cars and buses work their way along the very busy Kings Drive

ONE of the biggest road developments in recent years is being pencilled in for Kings Drive as East Sussex County Council prepares to add a bus lane to the busy street.

The Gazette can exclusively reveal that the local authority has teamed up with Eastbourne Borough Council and Stagecoach to push for the works – with details to be released later this year.

However, the scheme is still very much in the early stages and a spokesman for the county council was keen to stress that no decisions would be made until after a lengthy public consultation.

Speaking yesterday afternoon, they said, “We are working hard to improve transport in the town.

“A key element of this, is improving bus services in general and, in particular, along key routes such as Kings Drive.

“Everyone will get the chance to have their say on the proposals during a consultation in January and we want as many people as possible to get involved and tell us about their experiences of Kings Drive.”

That consultation, described as “one of the biggest carried out in Eastbourne by this department”, will be based around a series of exhibitions, a social media blitz, and the more usual approach of letters, surveys and information days.

And the authority has also promised to work with the borough council and local bus firms before deciding on even the smallest details – including deciding in priorities at junctions and making sure there are better bus stops.

No timetable will be in place for the works until the consultation and planning process has run its course – which could take anything up to 18 months, but County Hall says it will “look to implement these measures with minimal impact on the flow of other traffic,”.

Kings Drive used to be the main access road into Eastbourne and, with a school and the DGH dotted along its length, remains busy.

However, local councillor Colin Belsey, who lives on Kings Drive, said he hoped the county council would do all it could to make sure there was a need for the mooted improvements.

He said, “It does get busy in the morning and in the afternoon around the time of the school run, but I am looking out of my window now and there is hardly any traffic coming down.

“Whether it constitutes the need to spend what would be quite a lot of money, I do not know.

“I would also like to know where they think they are going to fit a bus lane.

“It will be interesting to see what local residents think. I do not necessarily think there will be lots of opposition to the idea, but there might be to the road works.”

What do you think of the planned bus lane? Will it help things? Email us your letters to richard.morris@jpress.co.uk.