New bus lanes set to cut journey times

CabCarlMaynard (Small)BUS journey times are set to fall as a result of proposed improvements to a major coastal route, highways chiefs have said.

East Sussex County Council is consulting on the introduction of new dedicated bus lanes on the A259 Bexhill Road as part of a range of highway improvements which are being introduced to complement the opening of the new Bexhill to Hastings Link Road.

With traffic levels on the notoriously congested A259 expected to fall by around 40 per cent as motorists divert to the new road, the council is proposing to introduce five new sections of bus lane after the Link Road opens in May 2015.

The new lanes, between Glyne Gap roundabout and Filsham Road, will be accompanied by work to upgrade the bus stops along the route, including new shelters, raised kerbs and real time passenger information signs.

The improvements are a requirement of the planning permission for the Link Road and also a condition on the Department for Transport’s funding contribution to the new road.

The proposals will be subject to a month-long consultation beginning at the end of the month, including a public exhibition.

Cllr Carl Maynard, county council lead member for transport and environment, said: “The building of the Link Road will have a dramatic effect in easing the long-standing problem of congestion on the A259.

“At the same time, it gives us a unique opportunity to implement changes which will reduce bus journey times and improve reliability, building on the success already achieved by the Hastings Quality Bus Partnership.

“The new bus lanes, along with the improvements to bus stops, will result in a vastly improved experience for existing bus passengers and hopefully encourage more people to use public transport.

“We’re asking people to let us have their views, which will be taken into account in finalising the proposals.”

The consultation runs from Friday, January 31 to Friday, February 28. More information, including the consultation questionnaire, will be available from January 31 on our consultation pages

The public exhibitions will be held on Friday, January 31 from 2pm to 7pm and Saturday, February 1 from 10am to 2pm at West St Leonards Community Centre, in Bexhill Road.

The following sections of bus lane are proposed:

(1) Westbound bus lane starting from the top of hill by Bexleigh Avenue and extending to the pedestrian crossing at Glyne Gap roundabout

(2) Westbound bus lane starting at Bulverhythe Road and finishing just before Freshfields

(3) Eastbound bus lane starting at Bulverhythe Road and ending just before Harley Shute Road.

(4) Westbound bus lane starting on the bend near the doctor’s surgery and extending to Harley Shute Road

(5) Eastbound bus lane starts at the bend near the doctor’s surgery and extends to Filsham Road

Photo: Cllr Carl Maynard, East Sussex County Council lead member for transport and environment.