Dangerous corner on school route

IF a job is worth doing it is worth doing properly.

The long-overdue re-build of Bexhill High School is definitely a job worth doing. It is imperative that it is done properly.

This does not only apply to the siting and planning of the building itself but to addressing the inevitable impact such a large project will have on the surrounding area.

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Those who predicted the massive increase in traffic congestion that the building of Bexhill College allied to the construction of new housing would have on the Hastings Road/Wrestwood Road/Penland Road area have been proved entirely correct.

The closure of De La Warr Road in the aftermath of last Wednesday's biker tragedy demonstrated the fine balance which now exists between traffic crawl and traffic grid-lock.

By any stretch of the imagination, Gunters Lane is at its choke-point manifestly inadequate for today's traffic conditions.

Not only is it narrow and with blind bends but it is constricted by high embankments which offer no room for manoeuvre.

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The gouge marks on the embankments are mute testimony to the number of vehicles scraping expensively - and dangerously - along them.

This is in essence the classic sunken Sussex country lane; picturesque in the horse-and-cart age but totally unfitted for present needs let alone those which would pertain after the new school is commissioned in 2010.

The tight deadline for making use of the Government's millions for the High School project means that there is no time to waste on proposals which are merely diversionary.

A one-way scheme? In that lane? And with traffic lights!

What sort of solution is that?

The county council in this instance is the planning applicant, the education authority and the highway authority.

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If it or any other local authority were confronted with a development scheme of this magnitude by a private applicant it would undoubtedly insist on the applicant funding the highway improvements necessary before the start of the scheme.

In truth, this should have been done before Phase One of the High School re-location was built in Gunters Lane, a project whose traffic impact has not been reduced by the fact that the old college in Turkey Road has been replaced by the St Mary's Park development.

Two issues are paramount in this debate.

One is the safety of those who will have to use Gunters Lane '“ with or without one-way section and traffic lights '“ not least those pupils who will have no other choice of route.

The other is the effect on all road-users, including emergency vehicles.

Will an already dangerous road be made doubly so?

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