Council considers pedestrian crossing after child is hurt

A petition calling for a pedestrian crossing on Battle Hill was presented to East Sussex County Council
A petition calling for a pedestrian crossing on Battle Hill was presented to East Sussex County Council

East Sussex County Council is looking at installing a pedestrian crossing on a busy road in Battle in light of a serious collision earlier this year.

At a meeting on Monday (July 16), lead member for transport and environment Nick Bennett confirmed the council is to conduct a feasibility study into installing a pedestrian crossing near to the Tesco Express store in Battle Hill.

The decision was discussed in response to a 2,300-signature petition presented to the council by  Liberal Democrat councillor for Battle and Crowhurst Kathryn Field.

The petition had been set up following a serious collision involving a 12-year-old pupil from Claverham College in March.

Cllr Bennett said: “We will set in train the feasibility study with the intention of getting the crossing, or whatever is the most suitable solution, installed by March next year.”

During the meeting, the lead member heard from Cllr Field and two Claverham College pupils – Maya Andrews and Ollie Thomasetti – who spoke in favour of installing a crossing on the busy road.

Maya said: “Every day children and adults who live in Battle Hill, such as the boy who was hit, have to make the very important decision on when it is safe enough to cross the road, each and every day taking a serious risk.

“Although I am not an expert, it does not take much to make the assumption that a pedestrian crossing is needed on Battle Hill.”

Ollie described a potential crossing as a ‘long-term lifesaver’.

Cllr Field said: “This petition has huge community support. There are, on that stretch of road, six entrances off Battle Hill, so drivers are concentrating on traffic coming at them. They are not concentrating on pedestrians, because there is no obvious sign that they need to.”

Cllr Field also raised concerns about the speed of vehicles and said improving safety in the area may encourage other residents not to drive when shopping at Tesco Express.

According to council reports, the crossing had been looked at in the past following requests from Battle residents. However, it was not included in the 2018/19 work programme after being ranked 32nd out of a list of 67 prospective transport schemes.

The reports say officers will be conducting pedestrian surveys in the area as well as reviewing the last three years of crash data as part of the feasibility study. It will also consider general concerns about vehicle speeds in this area.

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