Traffic lights to be trialled in Alfriston

Alfriston High Street looking southwards towards junction with Star Lane (photo from Google Maps Street View).
Alfriston High Street looking southwards towards junction with Star Lane (photo from Google Maps Street View).

Traffic lights in the historic rural village of Alfriston are set to be trialled for four weeks starting in September.

Conserve Alfriston, formed by villagers, has been trying to persuade East Sussex County Council there is a better way to manage the occasional congestion than the current proposals.

These would see traffic lights installed in the high street at its junctions with Star Lane and Weavers Lane.

Temporary signals are set to be introduced for a four week trial starting in September alongside a 20mph speed limit.

This limit would continue for a further four weeks so the community can measure the impact of the two independently.

Traffic speed surveys, video surveys and queue lengths will be recorded during the trial period, which was agreed by the council’s lead member for transport and environment last Monday (May 21).

According to Conserve Alfriston’s website: “The ESCC traffic light scheme is very much an urban scheme - ‘a bog standard scheme’ in the words of ESCC as reported in the unadopted minutes of the May 2016 Alfriston Parish Council meeting.

“Indeed, in the consultation ESCC compared the situation to Lewes. But Alfriston is a historic rural village, not a market town. It deserves better.

“Surely a more sensitive way can be found, that conforms with recent thinking on traffic management?”

Last year the group presented a petition signed by 365 people calling for the county council to drop its proposals and progress its alternative valley-wide plans to manage traffic instead.

According to an officers’ report discussed last week: “Given the predicted queue lengths from the modelling exercise, to fully assess the implications of traffic signals throughout the day, and in particular the impact to Market Square, it is recommended that a trial signal scheme is carried out.

“The trial would enable any effects that the proposals may have to be observed in a live traffic situation.”

To facilitate the trial scheme the existing waiting restriction in the high street north of Star Lane will be revoked, while vehicle turning bans at Star Lane will also be revoked temporarily.

The outcomes of the trial scheme and feedeback from residents and businesses would then come back to the lead member in spring 2019 for a decision as to