Traffic lights come to Exceat Bridge for Airbourne

Exceat Bridge on the A259 across the River Cuckmere.
Exceat Bridge on the A259 across the River Cuckmere.

Temporary traffic lights will be installed at Exceat Bridge this summer as the council prepares to deal with an influx of Airbourne visitors.

East Sussex County Council say the lights will be in place throughout the air show weekend to deal with increased congestion at the narrow crossing.

While the move has raised hopes among those campaigning for permanent lights on the bridge, the council says they are not a trial run and will be removed after the Airbourne weekend.

A council spokesman said: “Congestion at Exceat Bridge is particularly bad around Eastbourne’s Airbourne event. To address this we will be installing temporary three-way traffic lights between 4pm and 8pm for the duration of the Airbourne weekend. This is not a permanent solution or a trial, and the lights will be removed at the end of the weekend.

“We appreciate the concerns about congestion on the A259 at Exceat and are looking into options to address these. A report on options for the bridge is due to be discussed by lead member at a meeting on Monday, July 18.”

Seaford MP Maria Caulfield, who has backed a campaign to have a permanent traffic lights on the bridge, has welcomed the temporary lights.

Ms Caulfield said: “I have aimed to engage with members of the community as much possible on this issue, and have taken the feedback that I have received to East Sussex County Council officials.

“The Cuckmere River and its surroundings are a gem within my constituency, and regularly draw thousands of visitors each year, particularly during the spring and summer months. It is therefore imperative that we look to improve its accessibility, via the A259, as much as is feasibly possible, whilst ensuring that safety remains a key priority.

“In my view this is very much a step in the right direction, and when speaking to residents, they agreed that it would be a wise move. Before the election I gave a pledge to constituents to work hard to bring this issue - which for many has been long awaited - to a welcome conclusion.”

Airbourne is held in Eastbourne from Thursday, August 11 to Sunday, August 14.

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