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Mill Lane A275 Traffic Crossing Feasibility Study Results

For many years the Parish Council has attempted to achieve a pedestrian crossing at or near the junction of Mill Lane and the A275. The first feasibility study was carried out in 2011 but more recently, the feasibility study undertaken in 2020 looked at two possibilities:
1.  A controlled crossing on the A275 to the south side of Mill Lane Jct. estimated cost £245,000
2 . Two uncontrolled pedestrian refuge islands on A275 either side of Mill Lane Jct.  estimated cost £85,000
The Parish Council considered the report in 2020 and concluded that the uncontrolled crossing would not be considered safe enough based on the feasibility report, and the controlled crossing would be unaffordable for the Parish Council, so could not realistically be considered.
Nevertheless  as there was still a strong desire for a crossing amongst the Councillors and  residents and school children who have to cross the A275 regularly, in 2023 we requested a further feasibility report to consider dropped kerbs, tactile paving and footpath improvement, to cross A275 south of Mill Lane. 
This ‘desk top study’ took into account the last speed data collection which was in 2019 which shows drivers mainly (on average) driving at 40mph, which is the speed limit. It also looked at the accident record for the  period 2020 – 2023 which showed 1 ‘slight’ accident on Mill Lane. (In fact if you look at the area of the A275 up to Markstakes and down to Grantham Close, the number rises to 4 ‘slight’ accidents and 1 serious.)
The conclusion of the latest feasibility study is as follows
‘An uncontrolled crossing does not provide precedence to pedestrians, good judgement is required from the pedestrians and pedestrians may have much longer waiting times on busy routes. Elderly, disabled pedestrians or school children may find them difficult to use, particularly on busy routes.
For these reasons, the proposed uncontrolled crossing facilities would not provide the benefits to pedestrians at this location and East Sussex Highways would not recommend that the introduction of an uncontrolled crossing point with dropped kerbs and tactile paving, on the A275 south of the Mill Lane Junction be considered further. The option of a signalled crossing developed in 2011 would be more appropriate at this location.
Regrettably therefore, at the most recent Parish Council Meeting, Councillors accepted that the only crossing of any kind that is likely to meet with ESH approval is a controlled one. In 2020 this was costed at approximately £245,000 which was significantly beyond our reach. It is likely to be considerably more expensive now.
Our available funds are (approximately) £22,000 and although some Community Infrastructure Funds could be bid for from Lewes Council, we fall way short of the necessary funds, even if we were successful in the bidding process.
Additionally, a Controlled Crossing would involve the provision of road lighting on and to the approaches of the crossing facility and Councillors are aware that there has in the past been resistance to this from residents who live close to the proposed crossing site. 5 new street lighting columns might be required.
We attach below the latest feasibility report for you to view. We shall continue to search for viable solutions which include reminding East Sussex Highways and Lewes District Council that as long as planning permission for new developments in Chailey continue to be awarded, thereby increasing both the traffic and the number of residents who wish to cross the A275, a far more meaningful financial contribution will be needed from the developers to insure the future road safety in the area.
Elizabeth Berry
Chair, Chailey Parish Council