Traffic congestion in town may be the safest option for pedestrians

From: John Gately, Harold Terrace, Battle

I agree with Mary Boorman that a pedestrian crossing alone is not the easy solution to traffic concerns in South Battle that it first seems to be.

Indeed there is no obvious location for a crossing, given that there is no footpath on the Tesco side of the road.

I slightly disagree that additional traffic caused by the extension of the shop some years ago is a problem.

I often find that it is only when traffic is halted by cars turning right into the shop that I can easily cross the road.

Lowering the speed limit to 20mph is one of those ideas that sound good in practice but would probably not achieve much if enacted.

I drive a lot in Brighton where many areas are 20mph.

It is actually quite difficult to drive at that speed for an extended period and the limit is often ignored.

In our case why would we expect people who disregard the current 30 to obey 20?

What seems more significant to me was the change to double yellow lines all the way up the hill brought in a few years ago specifically to speed the progress of traffic heading for Hastings.

After crawling through Battle the sight of that uninterrupted road as far as the eye can see from the railway bridge is like a starting flag for many motorists. Foot down and away!

If I recall correctly, some time ago parking was re-introduced opposite the Police Station on the North Trade Road to act as traffic calming – perhaps the same could be done on Battle Hill.

Also in last week’s issue Huw Merriman was calling for more action to tackle what he sees as the problem of inconsiderate kerbside parking. Again, on the face of it this sounds like obvious common sense, but look at the situation in Lower Lake.

I agree that the cars parked on the kerb there are a nuisance for pedestrians but imagine what the speed of traffic up that stretch of road would be without the cars, never mind that there is no alternative parking available for the residents.

We live in a town that was never designed for modern traffic and every action we take to overcome a perceived problem can have several negative consequences to go with the positive one we hope to achieve.

We must be wary of knee-jerk calls for simple solutions to complex problems and hope that the traffic engineers of the county council consider all sides of the issue. Congestion may yet be our friend, but don’t expect it to be popular.