Traffic calming measures in Eastbourne road ‘not a priority for funding’

Cavendish Avenue, Eastbourne
Cavendish Avenue, Eastbourne

Calls to introduce traffic calming measures to an Eastbourne road have been refused by a senior county councillor. 

On Tuesday (October 22), Cllr Bill Bentley, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for communities and safety, confirmed the authority did not have any money available for improvements in Cavendish Avenue as ‘it is not a priority at the present time’

The decision had been prompted by a petition from town residents, who had called for an urgent safety review with a view to implementing a traffic calming scheme to reduce vehicle speeds.

Speaking after the meeting, ward councillor and lead petitioner Steve Wallis said: “I am obviously disappointed, but not surprised, by East Sussex County Council’s Highways decision.

“There seems to be so many road safety improvements that just do not happen due to budget constraints.

“The request from the residents of Cavendish Avenue was to bring is traffic calming measures as a result of a child nearly being knocked over by a car. If this sort of near miss does not cry out for traffic calming, I am not sure what does.”

According to council officers, police crash data shows no injury crashes have happened on the road between August 2016 and July 2019. However, officers said, the data also shows there have been four injury crashes at its junctions with Bourne Street and Firle Road.

A further assessment found the road did not meet the benchmark for traffic calming measure “at this time”, council officers said.

Cllr Bentley said: “I have been to Eastbourne and had a look at this area. Perhaps it was on a day when traffic was relatively quiet.

“It wasn’t at rush hour time, which is maybe what the petitioners are concerned about, but it seemed to be a typical Eastbourne road with no more risk to life than many other locations. 

“For that reason I felt this would not be a priority for the county council funding.”

However, Cllr Bentley said he wished Cllr Wallis well in looking at finding an alternative funding source – such as community match funding – and said county council officers would be able to assist with further guidance.

The report had also recommended residents look at alternative measures such as a community speed watch scheme.