Here’s why St Leonards road will be permanently closed

Proposals to permanently close a road in St Leonards have been given the go ahead.

Queuing cars on Junction Road, St Leonards
Queuing cars on Junction Road, St Leonards

On Wednesday (October 13), East Sussex County Council’s planning committee agreed a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which will ban motorists from using Junction Road — a small stretch of highway which connects The Ridge West to Sedlescombe Road North (the A21). 

The closure forms part of the Queensway Gateway Road project and would only come into force once this wider project has been completed. 

Objectors concerned about traffic congestion

Before making its decision, the committee heard how the TRO had seen some objections raised. 

These include an objection from the bus company Stagecoach, which argues the closure would result in an increased journey length on two of its routes. Officers disputed this, however, arguing the full scheme would decrease journey times despite the longer route.

Other objections raised concerns about the impact of the closure on traffic congestion, both at the A28/A21 junction and in Maplehurst Road. Officers also disputed this, but said further mitigation works could be considered if appropriate in future.

Officers concluded that these objections are not sufficient grounds to withdraw the proposals.

Cause of ‘traffic misery’

This view was shared by ward councillor Peter Pragnell (Con), who spoke in favour of the TRO at the meeting. He said: “The cause of most of the traffic misery in that part of town is Junction Road and in particular it is traffic queuing to get in or out of the top and bottom of the road, turning right. 

“Getting out at the top – visibility turning right is nil until you put yourself into the traffic flow and at the bottom it is the junction with the main north south highway into and out of Hastings.

“So whilst I have sympathy for the objectors and their objections they can all be bypassed. In particular this is going to improve safety at both ends of Junction Road. 

“I perfectly see the logic of not doing this until the link between Queensway Gateway and the A21 is completed. I just hope it is completed quickly.”

As part of the full project, it was initially planned for a new roundabout to connect Sedlescombe Road North to the Queensway Gateway Road, but planning officers said it was now intended to be a traffic-light controlled junction. 

Junction Road would be closed as part of this new junction, although it would remain open for emergency services, walkers and cyclists