No permanent traffic lights for Alfriston’s high street

Alfriston SUS-160211-231408008
Alfriston SUS-160211-231408008

New permanent traffic lights will not be introduced in Alfriston, the county council is set to agree next week.

Between September and October last year temporary signals were trialled on the narrow high street, with a trial 20mph speed limit continuing for another four weeks.

Traffic speed surveys, video monitoring, queue lengths and journey time surveys were recorded during the trial period, with air quality monitoring also carried out.

After reviewing these and feedback from residents and various organisations, East Sussex County Council officers are recommending that a traffic signal solution is not implemented.

A report said: “Instead an alternative package of village-wide measures should be progressed and a consultation held to allow the community to consider.”

They concluded that while there was a reduction in vehicles overrunning the pavement in the high street between the Star Lane and Weavers Lane junctions, this was to the detriment of other parts of the village where incursions on the footway and queuing traffic were both observed.

A final decision is set to be taken by the lead member for transport and environment on Monday (June 17).

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield has welcomed the recommendations.

She said: “Some sections of the community were in favour of traffic lights but it was shown during the trial that the lights pushed the problem further out from the centre of the village rather than solving it.

“The majority of responses to the consultation were also against the plans. I will be working with Conserve Alfriston, the Parish Council and local residents to help work out the best way forward for Alfriston.”

Data collected showed the lights did increase journey times, with a rise in daily traffic flow on North Road and The Street and a reduction through Alfriston’s high street.

This supported feedback received suggesting drivers looked for alternative routes to avoid the signals.

A total of 169 questionnaires were returned, with many responses negative towards the traffic lights.

As well as developing a package of village-wide measures officers are recommending changes to existing waiting restrictions in the high street north of Star Lane and into Market Square are consulted on.

During the trial some temporary parking restrictions were implemented and these ‘seemed to improve traffic flow through the centre of the village’.

There would also be the opportunity to put in extra and enhanced village gateway signs.

The county council will explore improvements to signs on the A259 to further discourage large lorries from passing through Alfriston.

It would also engage with Highways England to ensure extra HGV signs are included as part of a package of measures brought forward to improve the A27 between Lewes and Polegate.

What do you think of the proposed decision? Email the newsdesk.