Crossing needed on busy Offham street

Lewes Speed Watch and Lewes Living Streets are calling for a new pedestrian crossing at Offham Road
Lewes Speed Watch and Lewes Living Streets are calling for a new pedestrian crossing at Offham Road

A road safety group in Lewes is calling for East Sussex County Council to build a pedestrian crossing on a busy street.

Lewes Living Streets wants a crossing on Offham Road where many families negotiate the street between Prince Edwards Road and Landport.

But the county council said it would be considering the scheme as part of its capital programme for 2015/16.

Kevin Moore, of Lewes Living Streets, said: “At present drivers coming out of the 20mph area towards the Offham Road see a 30mph sign as they go over the railway bridge which encourages drivers to speed up.

“But this is just before the bend in the road hidden behind which families are trying to cross. It sends out the wrong message to drivers at present.

“Putting in a pedestrian crossing would enable this stretch to become a 20mph road and make it safer for everyone.”

Families struggle to see traffic coming up the hill because of a bend in the road but have no other option because of the very limited pavement on the Prince Edwards Road side.

The group said the council would only pay half the costs of putting in a pedestrian crossing.

Lewes Living Streets said the problem should be solved by extending the 20mph limit from the centre of town to this point and using some of the money designated for the 20mph extensions to pay for the other half of the pedestrian crossing cost.

Lewes Community Speedwatch supports a crossing at this point, having seen the difficulties faced by pedestrians,

But a county council spokesperson said: “The county council has previously received requests for a crossing facility at this location.

“A scheme was considered for inclusion in the capital programme for local transport improvements in 2014/15, however, we were unable to allocate funding at that time.”

The spokesperson continued: “We are always prepared to work with other local councils or community groups who may be able to part fund new highway facilities.

“It should be noted that the provision of a pedestrian crossing in isolation would not enable a 20mph speed limit to be introduced on Offham Road.

“A package of additional engineering measures would be required to reduce average vehicle speeds and would require the support of statutory consultees such as Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue and the local bus companies.

“As a consequence, there are no plans to implement 20mph speed limits on the main road network in Lewes.”