THE current proposal by Lewes Living Streets for an “anyway” group of pedestrian crossings at the lower end of Station Street in Lewes is a brave attempt at solving a problem which has so far lacked a solution, namely the need to cater satisfactorily for all pedestrian movements at this dangerous junction.
Where no designated crossing exists, one is often risking life and limb to cross the road safely.
However, I do feel that in their enthusiasm to provide for all such crossing needs, they are overlooking the basic need for both traffic and pedestrian movements to be catered for equally and together, which the County Council as Highway Authority are in fact charged to do.
My concern for these road proposals is that, if carried out as fully as Living Streets would wish, occasions could easily arise whereby even a few pedestrians all using the proposed crossings at much the same time could in fact bring traffic from all directions to a complete standstill, causing unwanted congestion and traffic pollution, which would be counter-productive.
I appreciate that the intention of Living Streets is to save expense at the same time as creating “ pedestrian dominance” at this point, but I personally feel that the only really satisfactory form of solution is for a set of traffic lights to be installed there, catering for all types of movement in all directions.
Such a solution already exists at the prison crossroads, where traffic lights deal very adequately with a similar set of roads and the pedestrian crossing needs thereto.
The present problem could just as adequately be overcome, for a financial outlay which would be fully justified, and not excessive. It will be interesting to know of the Highway Authority’s views on this, and whether they have any plans or intentions thereto.
Michael Parfect, Lewes