There is confusion over what sort of pedestrian crossing will be used to link the planned new railway station car park in Uckfield with the station itself.
Plans before Wealden District Council suggest a signal controlled crossing but that idea is being ruled out by the highways authority, East Sussex County Council.
The county council highways department is suggesting an “informal crossing point”, subject to a safety audit.
An “informal crossing point” has a dropped kerb but no traffic lights or other signals. “It encourages people to cross at that point,” a county council spokesperson said.
A 20mph zone will be proposed for Uckfield High Street (story here) as part of town centre traffic improvements and it may well be that a crossing point between the station and car park will fall within this zone.
Plans for the 174-space railway station car park, which is to the west of the High Street (the station is on the other side of the road), have been with Wealden District Council for some weeks.
Station car park opening already delayed
The application by Network Rail has met objections and concerns, which are still being considered by planning officers at Wealden District Council. Letters of support for the plan have also been received.
Originally, it was said the car park could be open in spring 2014 but that date has clearly slipped.
A decision on the plan was then expected in June but UckfieldNews.com can reveal that it will now be July before the district council determines the application.
Serious reservations about the project have come from East Sussex highways department. While its comments fall short of an outright objection, the department lists a series of concerns and calls for clarity on a number of points.
Kal Pegler, writing to Wealden on behalf of the county council’s director of communities, economy and transport, said: “The details submitted are not clear or sufficient to make a formal recommendation to this application from a highway perspective.”
She is asking for amendments to the plan and then wishes to be re-consulted.
She is calling for a site plan which shows the complete boundary of the works, including highways land and details of the pedestrian crossing, supported by an appropriate safety audit.
The county council points out the application asks for planning permission for the car park, west of the High Street but the plans also show works in front of the current station on the east side as well.
Kal Pegler said the plans show a pedestrian crossing controlled by signals, which the highways department said were inappropriate at the pre-application stage of the planning process.
“The reasons relate to the detrimental impact likely to occur from queuing vehicles backed up to signals on either side (Bell Lane and Framfield Road).
“The plan submitted is therefore not current and an alternative informal crossing point was requested for consideration.
“This element of the proposal is crucial to determine suitable connectivity between the car park and station and should be supported by a stage 2 safety audit,” the letter says.
The lack of defined land boundaries have made it difficult to consider fully the planning application submitted from a highway perspective, she said.
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