Uckfield High Street ‘user friendly’ now lights gone

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The temporary disappearance of the light-controlled crossing near Uckfield’s HSBC bank has led to a safer High Street.

The crossing has been removed while work is done to buildings damaged in last year’s fire.

Wealden District and Maresfield Parish councillor Ken Ogden said: “Have you noticed how user friendly the High Street has become since the demise of the zebra crossing? Drivers and pedestrians are more courteous with each other and traffic is slower. There is no longer any rush against the lights are they no longer exist. Let’s hope that County planners take a hard look and re-think these lights.”

Cllr Ogden also believes the 30mph limit to Ringles Cross should be continued all the way to the Budletts Roundabout. At present the limit extends to 40mph.

Uckfield mayor Cllr John Carvey agrees.

He told the Express: “I think Cllr Ogden is right. Drivers are definitely slowing down and stopping to let pedestrians across. They certainly used to race to beat the lights. I do think though that some sort of crossing is needed but it could all be carefully looked at. People coming from the car park and turning right can now get out safely.”

An East Sussex County Council spokeswoman said: “Our intention is that the crossing would be reinstated once the buildings have been repaired and the scaffolding removed.

“The team working on town centre improvements will hold an exhibition in March to update people on work they’ve done since the last one and show more detailed plans for taking forward the town centre works.

“Part of the works are improvements to the High Street. These include widened footpaths, re-organisation of parking, new street furniture and changes to the crossing. A possible option is providing pedestrian crossing facilities at the Church Street junction, removing another and replacing it with one centrally located modern crossing.”

The devastating blaze which wrecked buildings in the High Street four months ago wreaked further damage, investigations have revealed.

New roof joists have now been put in place alongside the charred beams which will support a protective membrane and ensure the interior stays dry. There is concern about a wall facing a path to Swindells’ offices while one of the shops facing the High Street has a new crack in the wall. Before building work can begin, Wealden District Council’s planners must give full consent. It appears the work might not be finished by the end of this year.

The fire was started deliberately in bins at the back of premises .