Cyclists call for official signs along High Street

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A group of cyclists are calling on East Sussex County Council to install signs on Cliffe High Street, reminding residents of the rules of the road.

A series of pop-up signs have appeared along the busy road, making it clear that while cars can only travel eastwards, cyclists are legally allowed to go in both directions.

As it’s a Conservation Area, there are no painted lines on the road surface and only a ‘rarely-noticed’ one at the entrance from Railway Lane.

Derek Watts, a local resident, said: “People walking into Cliffe from the precinct have no idea of the traffic arrangements, and we have no real idea either. I didn’t know before that bikes were allowed to travel west, and I’m sure that visitors don’t.”

There has also been rumbling unhappiness for some time about the number of vehicles using Cliffe High St as a rat-run or a free car park.

Jill, a local cyclist, said: “I think people driving in from Railway Lane really don’t notice the restriction and cycle contraflow signs - they’re busy facing bumps in the road, pedestrians, and a right turn up onto the bridge. It’s so unfair that when I’m biking carefully and legally westwards, I’m shouted at by drivers.

“Of course we don’t want big traffic signs in a conservation area, but these new signs on the bollards show the council we really need something.”

Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, added: “Many people find the signage unclear, and an official reminder sign would be helpful for drivers and pedestrians alike.  I have passed constituents’ comments on this subject on to the County Council.”

In response to the five-day traffic survey conducted by Cycle Lewes, Lewes Living Streets and the Cliffe and Cuilfail residents - which highlighted the issues mentioned above - an East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We have received Cycle Lewes’ report and are in the process of arranging a meeting with them to discuss their findings and concerns.”

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