Residents’ safety must come first

Bexhill Observer Letters
Bexhill Observer Letters

As your correspondent, Kathy Harmer, mentioned last week (Observer, 18/02/17) and many of us have experienced, the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road, in some ways an improvement in travel, has blighted the lives of not just those who live along Barnhorn Road and Little Common Road but also those who drive along the A259 to Bexhill town and beyond.

The A259 through our lovely town has been busy for years but is now operating above its capacity as far as West Bexhill is concerned.

As many of you will have experienced during the peak hours of 7.45 - 9.15am and 3.45 - 6.45pm, traffic regularly tails back for at least a mile eastwards towards Little Common roundabout, with long queues in the opposite direction.

Much of this slow-moving traffic is diesel-powered and produces considerable pollution and noise, creating health and safety issues for residents of Barnhorn Road, Little Common Road and Little Common itself.

Walking along the pavement at times of peak pollution is unhealthy but pedestrians have to do so.

Earlier this month, temporary traffic lights were installed at the entrance to the new Barnhorn Green development for the positioning of a pollution-measuring meter, a welcome initiative.

Although most of the work was done between 10.00am and 3.30pm, the traffic chaos was unbearable, with a two-plus mile tailback from the roundabout to the Hooe turn-off in one direction, and a tailback beyond the Denbigh in the other.

All this before the traffic lights there become permanent in the next few months and work begins on the extensive Barnhorn Green development, estimated to take many years.

Driving out of houses into Barnhorn Road is hazardous at the best of times, impossible at others, especially where sightlines are poor because of the road configuration.

An application to build a close of 30-32 houses next to Ashridge Court Care Home in Barnhorn Road has been submitted to Rother District Council Planning Department.

It will require the redesign of the A259 at that point, with a ghost filter lane and an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing just over the brow of a hill for vehicles travelling west – a danger for pedestrians and drivers alike.

Such a development with its safety issues and increase in the already fraught congestion is a development too far.

If Bexhill is to continue to be an attractive place where it is safe and healthy to live and which people want to visit, the need to meet Government housing requirements should not be at the expense of the health and safety of residents and visitors alike.

The council has difficult planning problems to solve but it must keep the well-being of its citizens in the forefront of its decisions.

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