Link road work safety fears for pedestrians

Roadworks on the A259, Bexhill at the lower end of Sidley
Roadworks on the A259, Bexhill at the lower end of Sidley

Sidley residents have criticised East Sussex County Council, claiming no consideration has been given to the safety of pedestrians as Link road works are carried out ahead of the demolition to Ninfield road bridge and say its an ‘accident waiting to happen.’

Sarah Dyer contacted the Observer to say both herself and a number of concerned Sidley residents were angry that no provisions had been put in place for pedestrians to cross the road safely at the Ninfield bridge works.

As part of the new Bexhill to Hastings Link Road, East Sussex County Council (ESCC) plan to demolish Ninfield road bridge once the new Woodsgate Park bridge is complete. One-way alternating traffic flow across Ninfield bridge is currently in place, controlled by temporary traffic lights. However, Sarah says this goes against ESCC’s proposed schedule and is causing chaos to pedestrians and motorists exiting the BP garage situated by the junction of Ninfield road and Wrestwood road.

Sarah said: “Its a tiny exit from the garage on a blind corner, the traffic lights are behind you and can’t tell if the lights have changed or not. “It’s a busy road and there’s no point at which traffic is not coming. There’s people trying to cross and standing in the middle of the road with lorries thundering down. It’s dangerous!

“Why don’t they finish one job before they start another? “There should be some sensible planning for those people living in the town and surrounding areas. This is an accident waiting to happen and is causing major traffic disruptions.”

A spokesman for ESSC said they appreciate the work is causing some disruption but says it is “essential” to allow the diversion of utilities ahead of demolition of the Ninfield road bridge, adding: “Clear signage is in place alerting people to the work and we have also now installed a safe walking route and signs directing pedestrians to cross the bridge towards Sidley safely, however as with any roadworks scheme we would ask motorists and pedestrians to take extra care. We are in the process of constructing a temporary pedestrian bridge, however the current essential works have to be completed before this can be opened.

“The schedule envisaged that Ninfield Road Bridge would not fully close until the new Woodsgate Park bridge was completed and this is still the case, however the temporary one-way traffic system on the bridge is necessary to allow us to complete the diversion of utilities.

“We expect Woodsgate Park Bridge to reopen in late April and the works on Ninfield Road Bridge to be completed and the bridge closed for demolition in late Spring.”