Far-reaching proposals that would transform the transport system in Lewes will be the subject of a public consultation.
East Sussex County Council’s ‘Lewes Steps Forward’ initiative aims to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
It is asking for local opinion on 20mph schemes, the Lewes Railway Station forecourt, Station Street and Fisher Street, a cycle route and signposting.
The council has successfully bid for a £3.7m pot from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, where Lewes MP Norman Baker has been a driving force. A significant part of it would fund ideas in Lewes – but it is on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis. Schemes must be implemented by March 2015.
Under proposals, the entire town would virtually become a 20mph zone, with six further speed restrictions in Malling, Landport, Wallands, Nevill, Houndean and Barons Down/Winterbourne areas added to those already in force. These are in the Town Centre, Southover and South Street areas.
In Malling, where vehicle speeds have been monitored as higher, this may necessitate traffic calming measures in the shape of speed humps and the creation of two mini-roundabouts. Eight such humps have been envisaged in Old Malling Way, and the roundabouts would be at its junctions with Monks Way and Mayhew Way.
In Station Approach a pedestrian refuge has been mooted near the junction with Mountfield Road to assist students travelling to and from Priory School and Sussex Downs College. Taxis would be moved to wait opposite the station and, significantly, a zebra crossing would be introduced at the site. In addition, raised kerbs would smarten-up and improve the bus stops. Improvements to Station Street and Fisher Street suggest a re-aligned kerb, a wider pavement with an improved surface and fewer bollards.
Residents will be asked to comment on how Regional Cycle Route 90 should cross eastwards through the town, eventually ending at Beddingham. Options must be chosen off Brighton Road, the Bell Lane Recreation Ground and the Pinwell Road/Court Road areas.
Meanwhile, there are plans to improve signage for both pedestrians and those on bikes, seen as a great potential help for tourists. These would take the form of five ‘monoliths’ sited at strategic points, each bearing a map and in turn leading the way for travellers via finger posts.
The Lewes Steps Forward exhibition will be staged at Eastgate Baptist Church Hall, Eastgate Street, on Thursday, September 19 (2-8pm), September 20 (2-8pm) and September 21 (10am-4pm). The proposals can be viewed online from September 19 at eastsussex.gov.uk/haveyoursay