Your views needed to improve transport in Uckfield

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Have your say

PEOPLE IN Uckfield are being asked for their views on four alternative multi-million pound schemes aimed at improving transport in the town.

They are the subject of one of the most important consultations for decades and will be on display in the town’s Civic Centre today, tomorrow and Saturday.

The County Council is asking people to choose between various options which could both ease congestion, improve traffic flow and encourage a healthy economy.

The options are making different travel choices, providing more parking spaces or building either a northern or southern ring road directing through traffic away from the town centre.

As highway authority, East Sussex County Council is responsible for roads and transport across the County and also putting together a solution that reflects people’s views.

Wealden District Council has made provision – as part of its Local Plan – for extra houses and shops in the town over the next 15 years.

And highways chiefs point out,developers are asked to provide money to deal with the congestion this will inevitably cause.

So far four million pounds has been collected for schemes with existing planning permission and extra money will be obtained from developments in the future.

The schemes develop from the Uckfield Master Plan agreed in 2007 which provides the framework for investment decisions and policymaking by local planning authorities.

The £3-million first option called ‘making different travel choices’ could reduce car journeys by between one and three per cent and make it easier to walk and cycle and share car journeys. There could be car clubs and improved facilities for bus users in the town.

The second option, costed at about £1-£2 million, concerns building a new car park for about 130 vehicles on land close to the station. This could reduce traffic, help satisfy demand for parking near the station and reduce on-street parking.

A northern road from the Bell Farm Lane traffic lights to a new junction in the centre of the High Street is a costlier third option estimated at between £5-£8 million. County officers point out this would ease congestion at the existing junction, reduce High Street traffic, provide crossings at all junctions and prioritise buses. It would also minimise the impact on the flood plain.

And the fourth option could be a southern road to be developed in two phases, firstly from the Bell Farm Lane roundabout southwards with a bridge over the river followed by a road that bridges both the river and railway line.

This would impact on the possible reinstatement of the Lewes-Uckfield railway line but if a business case was made in the future then the second phase would bridge the line. This would cost between £5-£8 million (first phase) and £15-20 million (second phase.)

County says all responses, comments and ideas help them plan the future of Uckfield and they will publicise a summary of what people say. A report on these responses with recommendations for the next steps will be considered by County’s member for the economy, transport and the environment this summer.

The summary of views and report will be available to view on the County, Wealden and Uckfield Town websites.

To say what you think complete a questionnaire included in a pack given out at the consultation (9.30am-8.30pm Friday or 9.30am-3pm tomorrow) or complete a form online at: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/haveyoursay by April 23.

What do you think? Let us know at: susan.king@sussexnewspapers.co.uk