Residents are rightly concerned about road safety at Bishopstone with two accidents in two days that have closed the road. The problem is made worse by conflict between the Conservative MP for Lewes who wrongly claimed that traffic lights were going to be installed, and the Conservative administration of the County Council who said very clearly that they were not. It is a mess and residents are right to be concerned at the lack of any action.
“This is another Tory shambles” said Cllr Carolyn Lambert, County Councillor for Seaford South, “There have been two accidents in two days at the Bishopstone junction. Our roads already have some of the highest killed and seriously injured statistics in the country, and as a Seaford resident, I am daily aware of the dangers people face on our roads. Unfortunately, all the Conservatives are doing is fighting among themselves rather than taking the action we need. The safety of local residents is more important than party politics.”
She adds: "We completely understand the frustration and concern of residents. However, we think this is a bigger problem than just the Bishopstone junction. We need to take a holistic look at all the junctions with the A259 throughout Seaford, all of which are potentially very risky. Seaford is the biggest town in the district and is continuing to grow. We call on East Sussex County Council to undertake a proper survey of the town to identify the areas of greatest risk to car users, cyclists and pedestrians, and to come up with some concrete proposals to enhance road safety."
Cllr Darren Grover comments: “I’ve been working hard to get action to improve the safety of Bishopstone junction since I was elected four years ago and have met with refusal by the Conservative County Council”. Grover, county councillor for Newhaven and Bishopstone, continued, “The Liberal Democrats locally have set up a non-political petition on the East Sussex County Council website for people to sign and make their feelings known about the dangers they face at the Bishopstone and Hill Rise junctions. This is not a political issue, people’s lives are at risk. People in our area tell me they feel very strongly about underinvestment and neglect by the Conservative County Council over the last 20 years, made worse by a Tory Government that has spent 10 years making savage cuts. These cuts have cost lives.
“I have worked with County Council colleagues of all parties and this led to the council investigating the options to make these junctions safer. Those investigations are now complete, but unfortunately Conservative cuts mean that action cannot be taken – despite local Liberal Democrats campaigning and the hard work of council staff. It is Conservative cuts that have meant that safety improvements are not happening.”
“This is not the first time this year we’ve had to take direct action on dangerous roads on the coast”, said Cllr Sean MacLeod. “Earlier this year, we needed to raise a petition to get Highways England to take action on major safety concerns on the A26. This is undoubtedly due to the constant cuts to funding from the Tory Government that has left both the County and Highways cash strapped and unable to protect local people, but mismanagement among Tory-run County Council is a big contributing factor to these failures.”