Eastbourne bus driver: ‘the number of people who walk out in front of me is unreal’

Buses and pedestrians in Terminus Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Buses and pedestrians in Terminus Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

An Eastbourne bus driver says countless people walk out in front of him as he drives down the new lane in the town centre .

The Herald received hundreds of responses on Tuesday (August 13) to a story highlighting how pedestrians, seemingly unaware of the danger, have been walking into the live bus lane in Terminus Road.

Buses and pedestrians in Terminus Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Buses and pedestrians in Terminus Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

The bus driver, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “I am a bus driver for a bus company that serves Cornfield Road/the Beacon centre and the amount of people that I have had walk in front of me is unreal.

“They are completely unaware of their surroundings and are using mobile phones, talking to others, and some just literally walk down the entire length of the street completely unaware that there are three or four buses sometimes behind them.

“There should be signs stating it is an active road and not a full-on pedestrianised area.

“In fact I’m not surprised anyone has been hurt yet because of the amount of cyclists that just bolt out from the pavement area in front of us.”

Buses and pedestrians in Terminus Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Buses and pedestrians in Terminus Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

The lane has been gradually unveiled in Terminus Road in recent months as part of the major improvements to the town.

With its grey brick surface, matching the new pavements, it is meant as a shared space – but many seem unaware it is not purely for pedestrians.

East Sussex County Council responds

East Sussex County Council, which is in charge of the work, has responded to concerns.

A spokesperson said, “The design for Terminus Road...is not technically a shared space as the bus lane, although on the same level as the footway, will be clearly marked using kerbing, paving, street furniture and planters.

“The design, which includes a 20mph speed limit and strict restrictions which prohibit parking and reversing at any time, was chosen at an early stage...as a layout which would create an attractive, open pedestrianised area while still allowing bus access.

“This kind of scheme conforms with stringent national design standards and has been successfully used elsewhere in the UK. The bus companies are fully aware of the revised arrangements in Terminus Road.

“The scheme is still under construction, with the southern footway incomplete, restricting pedestrian movement, which may have led to some pedestrians walking along the bus lane rather than crossing it. Once fully completed, the bus lane will be more clearly defined and will have direct crossing points.

“In the meantime, we have put up signs to make pedestrians aware of the bus lane and would ask people to take care when walking in this area.”