Battle resident’s calls for increased pedestrian safety during Almonry works

A resident has said pedestrians’ safety is being put at risk due to part of Battle High Street being closed off.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 1:19 pm
The area of Battle High Street that has been closed off during work on the Almonry. Picture by Bev Marks. SUS-211210-120748001

Major refurbishment works on the historic Almonry building are currently taking place as the town council looks to upgrade the site.

Scaffolding was installed outside the Almonry a few months ago and the footpath closed to pedestrians.

Resident Bev Marks said he has made several attempts by email and by speaking at recent council meetings, calling for something to be done to make the area safer, so people do not have to walk in front of traffic on the road in order to get past the obstruction.

Mr Marks said: “The town council and East Sussex Highways appear to be entirely deaf to my requests for significant action to be taken to improve pedestrian safety.”

He said he urged the town council to make the issue the authority’s top priority at a recent council meeting last month.

Mr Marks said on one occasion he was in his car and he saw how a olice van in front of him had to negotiate a contractor’s vehicle parked on the pavement, next to the pedestrian crossing, and partially on the road, on the white zig-zag markings.

He added: “Where has the ‘can do’ attitude gone to in our society these days? It is very hard to understand why a traffic lights system cannot be installed within hours, to provide controlled vehicle movements in both directions and allow pedestrians to walk past the scaffolding without danger from moving vehicles.”

In a statement, Battle Town Council said: “Contractors have worked with East Sussex Highways to provide compliant signage. Additionally, requests not to walk in the road have been erected.

“Following concerns, a further discussion was held with the contractor to attempt to find alternative solutions for the unloading of necessary materials. “Contractors have agreed to provide a road marshal to assist with road crossing during all deliveries and to avoid school traffic times. All works cease around 4pm.

“Although a programme of works has indicated that scaffolding will be in place until the New Year, the contractor is attempting to complete appropriate works to allow its removal as early as possible.

“The council is conscious of the inconvenience and would like to thank residents, visitors and workers in the town for their patience during this essential work to ensure the Almonry is brought back to a safe condition for all to enjoy.”