Crossing in Eastbourne’s Upper Avenue will help see a welcome explosion in walking and cycling

Roadworks in Upper Avenue, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190523-101350008
Roadworks in Upper Avenue, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190523-101350008

From: Derrick Coffee (County Officer, Campaign for Better Transport – East Sussex)

Mayfield Place

Re: Road closure leads to chaos..’ (Herald, May 17)

I note that the works to ’rebuild and resurface’ the stretch of Upper Avenue are taking place close to and at a point where the planned walking and cycling route from the town centre to the hospital is designed to cross the road close to the roundabout.

The route will be extremely useful and underpin for many years the aims of ‘Walk to School Week’ and ‘Active Travel Challenge’ events.

Access to local rail stations – and everything else – will be pleasantly and safely possible on foot or by cycle when it’s open.

All these initiatives appear in the same Herald edition.

An engineer on the works site told me that there were no plans to install any crossing during the road closure – which seems to be a missed opportunity.

Road traffic will therefore continue to make this a difficult and potentially dangerous crossing point: it’s not uncommon to see vehicles entering and exiting the roundabout at 40mph or more, a big deterrent to parents allowing their children to take first steps to independence.

A crossing will deter speeding.

Installing the crossing – and the rest of the route – would help parents with young children walking to/from Thomas a Becket school, often with pushchairs and accompanying pre-school children (at exhaust pipe level); help ESCC employees at St Mary’s House get to and from work; help existing and future residents near Bedfordwell Road and nearby streets and see a welcome explosion in levels of walking and cycling.

The recently installed crossing on Lottbridge Drove as part of the Horseye Sewer route to school/work/shop/ sees around 100 individuals crossing in an hour in the morning peak, improving people’s quality of life in countless ways: it’s a great success and value for money. More please.

Adopted quickly, town- wide, walking and cycling would be the mode of choice for so many more people: not to choose them would be seen as very odd behaviour.

In time, and if we get the necessary networks, we shouldn’t need short lived events but we’d all live longer enjoying the benefits of less traffic and pollution!