The new bus lane layout which is causing some confusion in Eastbourne town centre is not a shared space, according to East Sussex County Council.
The Herald received hundreds of responses when it published a story highlighting how pedestrians, unaware of the danger, are walking out into the live bus lane in Terminus Road.
One bus driver said the number of people who walk out in front of his vehicle is “unreal”, as many criticised the new scheme for being unclear.
Responding to these concerns, an East Sussex County Council spokesperson said today (August 14), “The design for Terminus Road, part of the improvement scheme being jointly developed by the county council and Eastbourne Borough Council, 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.”
The spokesperson said the 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 spokesperson said.
“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.”