Bexhill Hastings Link Road – Bob Pape’s Answers

1. What is the current timetable for commencement and completion of bus priority measures – including bus lanes – along the A259 between Bexhill and Hastings?

Traffic regulation orders will be advertised very early in the new year. Subject to any objections received and agreement with Hastings Borough Council on the timing, construction is planned to start in spring 2017.

2. Will the bus lanes be marked as open to cyclists?

It is the intention to allow cyclists, motorcyclists and taxis to use the bus lanes, provided no safety issues are identified.

3. Will there be any ‘demand management’ measures introduced simultaneously with the expected improved bus services?

Whilst there are no specific demand management measures proposed in the form of additional parking restrictions and charges to deter car use, the scheme is intended to encourage more people to use public transport and further reduce traffic levels along this road. Therefore alongside the bus priority lanes, we will also be upgrading the facilities at the bus stops along the route, with the introduction of bus stop clearway markings, high access kerbs to allow step free access to buses, new bus shelters and real-time passenger information displays which indicate when the next bus is due. These improvements along with the increased reliability and punctuality of the bus service provided by the bus priority lanes will result in a better experience for bus passengers and make travel by bus a much more attractive alternative to the car.

4. When will the ‘real time passenger information’ signs be installed at the very important interchange of Hastings Station?

There are proposals to install RTPI signs on the railway land at Hastings Station. Initial discussions have been held with the railway operator and we intend to develop the proposals further this year, in liaison with the railway operator. As the proposed RTPI signs would be installed on railway land, the signs and associated installation works would be subject to approval from Network Rail and the train operating company.

5. Will information screens informing passengers of bus departure times soon be installed at key points such as the University Foyer/Station ticket halls/FE College atrium, Conquest Hospital, etc?

We intend to investigate the feasibility of installing further signs in the Hastings and Rother areas including some of the locations that you refer to. All potential locations have to be surveyed to determine whether they are suitable (i.e. have sufficient mobile signal strength to be able to receive bus service information and a power supply is feasible). In addition, some potential sign locations are on private land or within private buildings and these would require approval from the relevant landowner or property owner before a sign can be installed. Subject to the outcome of the site surveys, testing and landowner/property owner approval, we hope to be able to install further signs in the Hastings and Rother areas in approximately the next 6 months.

6. Has a safety audit been carried out in respect of cycling along the BHLR?

An RSA3 has been undertaken for the scheme which included for the requirements in relation to pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians etc.

7. With safety in mind, what is the current preferred strategy for linking residential areas of Bexhill, St Leonards, Battle and Hastings to the BHLR Greenway?

In regards to you query concerning the linking of the BHLR Greenway to nearby settlements, particular residential areas. In terms of Hastings, we are currently progressing a number of the cycle routes outlined in Hastings Walking & Cycling Strategy 2014, as a result of securing £6m of Local Growth Funding from the SELEP to deliver a Cycling & Walking Package for Bexhill & Hastings, by 2020/21.

In order to draw this funding down a business case is currently being developed. This will include a number of schemes including, Route 2 – Combe Valley (links to the BHLR Greenway) to Silverhill, along with a new route through Alexandra Park. This will support the delivery of a continuous route from the BHLR Greenway in Bexhill through to Hastings Town Centre. The business case will be submitted to SE LEP in March 2017.

In terms of linkages from the BHLR Greenway to Bexhill, this has recently been raised as an issue, therefore I will be looking into this, as well the opportunities to link St Leonards and Battle in the near future. This will form part of a piece of work to develop a county wide Cycling & Walking Investment Plan, in alignment with DfT guidance, which we are awaiting the publication of. This should be published towards the end of November, therefore we propose to commission external support to progress this shortly.

If you have any suggestions around potential linkages from the BHLR Greenway to the other settlements, which you have mentioned, please forward these to lisa.simmonds@eastsussex.gov.uk

8. When can we anticipate publication of the ‘one year after’ monitoring report?

It is currently anticipated that the One Year After report will be published in the Autumn of 2017. The timescale is dictated by the availability of accident and air quality data covering the whole of the period in question.

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