Tag Archives: Road Safety

C7 Safety Campaign

Dear Residents,

Here is an update for on the C7 Safety campaign group. In July 2015 I reported that the Parishes of the Lower Ouse (POLO) had supported me in the setting up of a working group for all of the residents in the parishes in the lower Ouse Valley to investigate solutions to the problems of safety and traffic calming all along the C7 road. During 2015/2016 a number of workshop meetings were held with residents & parishes to document the issues. Comments and suggestions were documented in a series of drawings and list. I circulated and publish this information in January 2017. Click here to see the charts and report.

During the autumn of 2016 ESCC Highways met with POLO and positively responded to the research work we had been carrying out. Earlier this year I met with the ESCC Highways Department and discussed in what way they could assist the community in improving the traffic calming and safety measures along the road.  This report summarises my discussions with ESCC and proposes further steps towards pulling together a fully documented and costed plan to tackle the road issues. Here are my notes:

East Sussex County Council:

  • Are willing to help the community find a suitable highways design consultancy who could put together a safety and traffic calming strategy for the C7. ESCC have promised to send a list of consultants we may wish to work with.
  • Are going to carry out a survey this summer of the whole road detailing minor improvements and maintenance upgrades for things like signs & markings. This survey will also refer to possible other minor improvements for safety purposes. Once this survey is complete quotations will be obtained from their approved contractor and a proposal for implementation will be submitted (internally in the ESCC) so that work can go ahead.
  • Have now made detailed comments on our list of proposed safety and traffic calming measures. Here is a copy of that list, (click to download): C7 List of Comments 2016 POLO with ESCC info
  • Are willing to attend one of our workshop meetings to discuss their comments. We have agreed a date of the 2nd August at  6 PM. Please join us. please send an email to me & I will confirm the venue.  This meeting is open to all the parishes and residents in the valley.

However we can’t just rely on progressing things through one small department in the ESCC. As I have said before, the community needs to lead on this issue and produce a strategy and a plan for implementing safety and traffic calming measures. I have already proposed the production of a safety strategy document for the road which should be accompanied by a design/finance plan. As members of POLO may remember a proposal to engage a design consultant was discussed last year and the POLO Clerk put out a request to the parishes to support the cost of producing the design document bearing in mind that the district council (click here for further info) had agreed to fund 50% of the £2000 cost. I am not sure which parishes agreed to help with the cost or if the particular consultant proposed is still the preferred supplier.

Rationale behind a strategy & financial plan: Some improvements will come through the normal county council maintenance budget. Residents just need to make sure they report maintenance items but other measures will be more costly and will require funding from the county council, parishes or/and from a combination of organisations, possibly including the Local Enterprise Partnership (which deals with applications for funding locally on behalf of the government) or/and from special charities and other organisations. all of these organisations will require an application proposal and an estimate of costs. That is why we need a strategy plan and financial costings . Once we have these we can approach the organisations for funding . Hopefully we will be able to do this in by this autumn such that funds can be allocated in the next financial year ( 2018/19).

I will continue to work on the C7 safety issues and I am pleased to say that Joe Attwood (joe.attwood@btinternet.com) has volunteered to become the C7 Safety project coordinator. I’m looking forward to working with him to produce the safety plan for the road. We have set up a workshop meeting for 5 July at 6 PM. Please join us.  Please send an email to me & I will confirm the venue. This meeting is open to all the parishes and residents in the valley.

In parallel with the continuing work we shouldn’t forget that there’s always an opportunity for everyone to help improve things on the road. Here is some information:

Sources of Finance: Hopefully we will be able to find a volunteer who can research the different sources of funding. There may be just a short window of time available for applications to the EU as existing programmes run to the year 2020. However, apart from the county council, we will need some research into how one makes applications to the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Parish Councils: In parallel to this initiative the parishes (​Kingston, Iford, Rodmell, Southease  & Piddinghoe) and residents association (Kingston Road) continue with their own actions. I hope residents will discuss safety and traffic calming measures with their own parish council or association.

Report it: If you see a sign, pothole or verge which needs repairing or maintaining please use the automated reporting system. Click here for information and links

Accidents: Many people are keeping a log of accidents along the road and I hope you’ll share this at the workshop meeting

Speeding –  This is of concern to many people, the question is proving it! I hope we can get police, albeit with their scarce resources, to devote some time to the C7. In addition, there are a number of ways to kick off an initiative in your area. Here are some websites which may be of interest: Information on reducing speeding

Enforcing the weight & width restriction: Luckily past councillors for the ward got a weight restriction implemented for the C7.  A width restriction exists on the C324 through Kingston. Some residents feel these regulations are being broken. Ways of reporting and enforcement could be discussed by all the parishes.

Traffic Calming:  Volunteers are needed to research traffic calming measures. Here is a link of what I have found:   https://www.evernote.com/pub/vic182/trafficcalming

Other initiatives?

Road: I’m following up on the future of the A27 especially the section from the Ashcombe roundabout to Beddingham. Whether or not the A27 is turned into a motorway east of Lewes changes are needed to the three roundabouts at Ashcombe, Southerham & Beddingham to encourage the traffic to take the A26 to Seaford and Newhaven rather than the C7. I’m attending a seminar with Highways England on 10 July in London to follow this up.

Rail: I’ve already put my views forward concerning the reopening of the Lewes to Uckfield line. I am continuing to follow this up and support the initiative by Railfuture. Also I would like to see, linked parking/ticketing initiatives at stations in Sussex to persuade drivers to take the train.

Bus: I would like to see the introduction of Sunday services and an extension to their 123 service along the valley. To persuade drivers to take the bus instead of the train I would like to see an express coach service operating between Brighton, Lewes and Eastbourne along the A27 rather than just the busy coastal road

PS:  Swanborough

As some of you will know a planning application has been submitted and approved for holiday lodges next to the fishing lakes in Swanborough. Click here to see my report.

One of the good things that come out of this development is that the National Park have made a condition that a section 106 agreement must be signed before the development can start. We hope this will provide for some footpaths and safety measures on the C7. Here is the latest map showing the developers proposals for cycle/footways: (click to enlarge)

 

Where is ESCC Rural Cycling & Walking Investment?

Cycle Walk ImageFor a number of years I’ve been campaigning for more safety measures and improvements for cyclist and walkers. Since I became a district councillor I have continued to speak up for alternatives to simply getting in the car and driving everywhere. The car is essential but since the creation of county councils their focus has been on providing roads. The last coalition government with Lib Dem ministers in office re-balanced the focus to include provision for cyclists & walkers. Sadly now we are almost back to square one with the current Conservative government. Luckily, the Conservatives didn’t get rid of all of the Lib Dem policies. The funding grants made available by the Lib Dems in government were removed but were replaced with a ‘cycling and walking strategy.’

Albeit with much reduced funds, the government, last year, called for bids from county councils for both capital and revenue projects covering cycling and walking. Unlike West Sussex, East Sussex County Council simply did not bid for the capital funding. However they did bid for revenue funding. However, having won the money they decided to focus all of the investment in the coastal urban areas leaving out the towns and villages in our countryside.  It’s great that the County Council has been successful in winning funding for cycling and walking but I’m very disappointed to see that these funds will only be able to be spent in the Newhaven, Eastbourne, South Wealden, Bexhill and Hastings areas. Of course, I’m pleased for those areas”.

Earlier last year I met with officers of East Sussex County Council and pleaded with them to include schemes to improve safety for walkers and cyclists using and crossing the dangerous C7 road which connects Lewes to Newhaven.  Sadly they ignored my pleas leaving my rural area without funding as well as Lewes and much of the rest of the county.

I aim to continue the campaign and hope that the political composition of the county council changes in May this year so we can make some real progress right across the county. In the meantime if you agree with me and want to see funding shared between urban and rural areas for cycling and walking please write to:

Cllr Carl Maynard, county council lead member for transport and environment, and let him know that you want fairer treatment for the rural areas to improve safety for both walkers and cyclists. email: cllr.carl.maynard@eastsussex.gov.uk  You can read his press release here about the allocation to the urban coastal towns:  http://news.eastsussex.gov.uk/2017/01/26/funding-boost-for-walking-and-cycling-schemes/

Here is a copy of a recent press article about this issue. Also below is an article published last year in the Sussex Express about the same issue

Click to enlarge:

vic-ient-sussex-express-fri-03-02-17

Sussex express article Feb 2017

Here is a link to an article in the Sussex Express from last year on cycling & walking: http://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/news/lewes-councillor-calls-for-urgent-cyclepath-funding-1-7493718

 

Community Safety Partnership

Dear Residents,

ESSafeHere is an update on the Lewes District Community Safety Partnership. This organisation, under a different name, was set up some years ago to provide support for various initiatives including: reduction of domestic abuse, promotion of community safety (including dealing with fear of crime issues), prevention of fire in homes, environmental crime, prevention of fire and prevention of youth crime and other crime prevention initiatives including those relating to preventing people being drawn into serious crime and terrorism. As discussed before the partnership also looks at road safety. Today (Fri 17th Feb 2017) myself and other Scrutiny Committee members have reviewed the partnership’s programme. This is a short note about the review meeting. If you want more information click here, however for now here are some key points from the meeting:

The Community Safety Officer is Harry Williams (harry.williams@lewes.gov.uk ). There has been boost to the partnership’s resources with the East Sussex Fire Brigade providing an officer to support and coordinate the initiatives over a wider area. The group brings together resources from various organisations including the Police Commissioner, East Sussex County Council, the Fire Brigade and of course the Lewes District Council.

Grands for local organisations: 

Under the heading of road safety POLO had applied last year for funding in relation to consultancy services on the C7 road from the safety partnership. I think they were promised 50% funding of approximately £2000 budget. Separately, I believe that Kingston were interested in applying for funds for a schem in their village.

At the meeting, we reviewed the funding situation for 2017/18. I can confirm that the police contribution will remain the same as last financial year at just under £22,000. The Lewes District Council contribution is likely to be just under £50,000. Currently there are still funds in this year’s allocation so if you have already applied you may stand a chance of being allocated funding before the next year starts.

NB:

1) any local group or organisation may apply for funds. However if they don’t have a form constitution or are not a parish council they may need to channel funds via an organisation which has a constitution.

2) Quite separately to the Lewes area there is also a Sussex wide safety partnership which has separate funding. This covers both East and West Sussex. That scheme is separately organised.

Regards

Cllr Vic Ient

C7 Road Safety Survey Comments!

car-overtakingDear Residents,

Re: Suggestions for improving safety in the Lower Ouse valley along the C7 road:

Following consultations in 2015 and 2016 comments from parishes and members of the public have been collated. They have been marked on detailed plans and are shown on the diagrams and links below. Please also see the notes below.

Regards

District Councillor, Vic Ient

Complete Document (PDF): Click >>  c7-plan_comments_draft-30-12-16

Individual pages. Click the image below to view/enlarge/save:

Summary Page
Summary Page

c7-plan_comments_draft-30-12-16-p2
Kingston-Swanborough

c7-plan_comments_draft-30-12-16-p3
Iford to Rodmell

Southease
Southease

Piddinghoe
Piddinghoe

 

By the way if you wish to report any highway maintenance issues: CLICK HERE

Also you may wish to have a look at the 2 videos which County Cllr Carla Butler and I have made of the journey in both directions along the C7. CLICK HERE

Explanatory notes:

  1. These comments do not form part of any policy by any group or council.
  2. These notes are relating to the C7 and its junctions. It is hoped that they will be updated to include the C324 road (Ashcombe Lane & Wellgreen Lane, Kingston) in due course.
  3. The original sketches I have made are A3 in size but you should be able to print them in A4.
  4. These diagrams and comments can be used in discussions with the ESCC Highways Department and within POLO as part of the process to produce a strategy for the future safety & traffic calming on the road. I have recently met ESCC Highways to discuss what their proposals are in the light of these comments. I will be reporting back to the parishes and to POLO on the outcome and next steps.
  5. It may be that POLO engage a consultant directly or via the ESCC. Indeed, it may be that some safety improvements can be made incrementally by the ESCC reviewing and improving existing arrangements along the road without any major cost. Typically this might include cleaning and replacing plastic reflective bollards, remarking road surfaces with MPH reminders as well as making signage more meaningful and less cluttered.
  6. After I was elected last year I asked the association of parishes (Parishes Of the Lower Ouse, POLO) in my ward if they would set up a working party to develop a strategy for long-term improvements to safety and traffic calming along the C7 road through the villages of Kingston, Swanborough, Iford, Northease, Rodmell, Southease, and Piddinghoe. The proposal was accepted by POLO and a working group was set up. Since then they and POLO have met a number of times. At the request of POLO I have collated the above inputs from parishes and concerned residents.
  7. The plans will be updated and minor errors  corrected in the next stage.

Community Safety Partnership

At a recent meeting of the LDC Scrutiny Committee (of which I am a member) we reviewed the District Community Safety Partnership. This partnership includes membership from the District Council, County Council and other bodies like the office of the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner. There were a number of reasons for a review but it’s interesting to note that the partnership is to be extended over a wider area including Eastbourne, Wealden and Lewes although the local joint action groups will remain.

ThinkThere are many aspects to the partnership’s work, CLICK HERE for more information, but one is Road Safety which may be of interest to residents in the villages along the C7. Our review meeting we discussed the funds that are available to support local projects. This fund stands at £57,000. This may increase by some £21,000 as a result of the Police and Crime ESSafeCommissioner’s budget changes for the coming year. (This figures were correct as of early March 2016).  Parish councils may apply for a grant from the Community Safety Fund. A grant is intended to help pay for an initiative in your parish/area. If you have a scheme that you think is grant worthy, please contact your parish council or residents association. Please let me know if you need further information. Alternatively click the image to the left for more information:

 

Regards, Cllr Vic Ient