TRAFFIC calming measures will be put in place in New Road, Ridgewood.
After years of wrangling, two consultations with residents and an eight-month closure at the Lewes Road junction the decision has been taken to slow traffic with build-outs and speed cushions.
Council chairman and local member Chris Dowling said: “I am glad we now have a decision on this matter. I recognise this is an important issue for New Road residents. Many strong views on how it could be resolved have been put forward but I believe that a good and fair balance has been achieved. I hope this will provide the vital safety measures people want and be good for the whole of the local community. Developers Linden Homes will start work and it is their responsibility to pay for the scheme.”
The decision to support the recommendation was taken at Tuesday’s lead member meeting. In January 2007 developers were given planning permission for a residential scheme off Eastbourne Road and a roof tax agreement required them to introduce management features to cope with the extra traffic generated by new homes.
A first consultation was carried out in February 2009 on the partial closure of New Road but most people did not favour this and plans for full closure - the choice of several residents - were put forward.
But the decision to shut the Lewes Road junction met opposition including from people concerned about its impact on Ridgewood Post Office. The experimental junction closure went ahead in 2010 but the road was re-opened that November.
Another consultation was held and people were shown examples of calming measures and asked to vote for their first, second and third favourite options.
There was no clear winner and while there was support for a full closure, when implemented this had met with widespread disapproval. The council says ‘on balance the best fit for a way forward, taking into account practicalities and public opinion, is a combination of traffic management features.’
A by-product of the debate has been that Cllr Dowling has been able to consistently pursue a Lewes Road speed reduction and he has vowed to ‘keep on the case’ of this important matter for Ridgewood.