Uckfield Town Councillors last night deferred making a decision on their preferred option for traffic management during major roadworks in town next year.
They agreed to wait until the next full council meeting so they would have the chance to hear views of residents during a public exhibition at the weekend about plans for Uckfield High Street.
Before the decision was made two councillors expressed views in favour of one-way traffic systems during the roadworks. Cllr Paul Sparks, Liberal Democrat, North Ward, said he would prefer this in the northbound direction whereas Cllr Ian Smith, Independent, Ridgewood, said he would rather see it in the southbound direction.
Cllr Smith said this would make it easier for traffic travelling from Manor Park and Rocks Park to get to the station and to the community hospital. He suggested there was less need for traffic from the south to go to the north.
Cllr Chris Macve, Trust Independent, North, had earlier queried whether expressing a preference for one of the traffic control options would imply that the town council accepted the proposal for the High Street.
“We shouldn’t be talking about an option for traffic management when we don’t agree with the proposal, assuming we don’t agree with the proposal,” he said.
It was deputy mayor Cllr Duncan Bennett who suggested the matter be deferred until after a public exhibition which is due to take place on Friday and Saturday. This will show details of the latest proposals for the High Street and the options for traffic management while the work is done.
Cllr Bennett said: “We mustn’t appear to be Luddites. We do need to enhance what we have and some might say this is long overdue and people of Uckfield deserve it.”
But, he said, people also deserved to be listened to and there would be an opportunity for that to happen at the public exhibition.
He recommended the council deferred discussion of the traffic management options until the next full meeting of the council and this was agreed by fellow councillors.
The next full town council meeting is due to take place on August 3.
As previously reported on Uckfield News the options for traffic management include:
One way system of working – described as preferred
- Traffic to flow in a northbound (preferred) or southbound direction – for the whole build period
- 32 week build period
- Good access to the Luxford car park, shops deliveries and residents
- Cost effective option
- Consistent for road users and pedestrians
Shuttle system of working
- Allows for flows to be two-way in sections
- Low productive rate – sectional working (10 metres)
- Complicated method of working with resources, workforce and materials
- 52 week build period
- Expensive to construct – possibly unaffordable
- The traffic management may cause confusion to the public
- Potential conflict with other traffic signals
- Good health and safety for working staff
- Still provides pedestrian and resident access
- 20-week build period for full town (Luxford car park shut)
- 24-week build in two sections (keeping Luxford car park open)
- Town closed to traffic (loss of passing trade)
- Storage area for machinery and plant
- One way system will still have to be in place
- Noise disruption to residents
- 68-week build period
- Expensive option – unaffordable
- Only a four-hour working period per day as only can work up to 11pm. Time has to be considered for movement of plant and machinery and setting up of traffic management
- Light pollution in winter months
The roadworks will include a reduction of on-street parking spaces, wider footways with new, high quality paving, new benches, waste bins, cycle stands and street lights, new ‘smart’ traffic lights to monitor and control traffic, particularly at the critical junction of High Street and Bell Lane, and tree planting to help reduce flooding.
Read more here: Twenty-three parking spaces confirmed for Uckfield High Street
Councillors present at the meeting were:
Mayor Cllr Louise Eastwood, Trust Independent, North Ward
Deputy Mayor Cllr Duncan Bennett, Trust Independent, New Town
Cllr Jacqueline Beckford, Liberal Democrat, Ridgewood
Cllr Mick Dean, Trust Independent, New Town
Cllr Keith Everett, Independent, Ridgewood
Cllr Helen Firth, Conservative, Central
Cllr Jackie Love, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Chris Macve, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Barry Mayhew, Liberal Democrat, New Town
Cllr Paul Meakin, Liberal Democrat, Central
Cllr Ian Smith, Independent, Ridgewood
Cllr Paul Sparks, Liberal Democrat, North
Cllr Diane Ward, Trust Independent, Central
Apologies were received from:
Cllr James Anderson, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Donna French, Trust Independent, North
Read more from the town council meeting: