MP welcomes improvements to A21 in Hurst Green

From left to right Cllr Sue Prochak (Rother District Council) Cllr Ian Peacock (Hurst Green Parish Council), Cllr Graham Browne (Rother District Council and chairman of Hurst Green Parish Council), Dan Cavaliere (Balfour Beatty Mott Macdonald) Huw Merriman MP, Felicity Drewett (Highways England)
From left to right Cllr Sue Prochak (Rother District Council) Cllr Ian Peacock (Hurst Green Parish Council), Cllr Graham Browne (Rother District Council and chairman of Hurst Green Parish Council), Dan Cavaliere (Balfour Beatty Mott Macdonald) Huw Merriman MP, Felicity Drewett (Highways England)

Battle’s MP, Huw Merriman, has welcomed safety improvements for the A21.

The MP chaired a meeting made up of local representatives and officials from Highways England at Hurst Green Village Hall recently.

Residents in the village have campaigned for the section of A21, which runs through Hurst Green, to be made safer.

At the meeting, Felicity Drewett, of Highways England and Dan Cavaliere, of Balfour Beatty Mott Macdonald, told local representatives that a solution for the long-awaited traffic calming measures for the village would start to be implemented this month.

A new speed limit of 50mph will be introduced before southbound traffic reaches the Coopers Corner junction with the A229, along with village gates for Swiftsden, new road markings and interactive signage planned for 2016.

All these measures are aimed to improve driver behaviour and lower speeds before entering the village.

There was more good news for campaigners as Highways England confirmed that design funding had been set aside to develop a safety scheme that would see the installation of average speed cameras along the stretch of the road.

Detailed designs will begin in September and once completed further safety measures could be put in place, subject to funding being available for the delivery of the proposed scheme, Highways England said.

Officials at the meeting also said the design brief will also include other small-scale engineering measures aimed at supporting efforts for improved driving behaviours, compliance with speed limits, and if possible better provisions for the communities along the A21, such as footpaths, road surfacing and street lighting.

Highways England said a similar scheme was implemented on the A9 in Scotland where road accidents were reduced were by more than 50 per cent in the first year.

Mr Merriman said: “Since my election to Parliament, I have made the A21 one of my top priorities as it is an essential route for local people and vital to our local economy.

“I welcome these proposals from Highways England which will make the road safer for local communities like Hurst Green.

“Highways England’s other planned safety measures will help further improve road safety while reducing congestion and journey times.

“I look forward to working closely with Highways England and local representatives on these proposals to ensure that they work for local communities.

“I hope that we will see a significant reduction in collisions which will undoubtedly save lives and the A21 can shed its reputation of being one of the most dangerous roads in Britain.”

Last week, Highways England started carrying out six weeks of resurfacing works on the A21, as well as changing the speed limit from 60mph to 50mph at Swiftsden, north of Hurst Green.

The road between John’s Cross and Hastings will be resurfaced as well.

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