Lewes Forum thread

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Prison cross roads

On 6 Feb 2018 at 8:37am Heatherw79 wrote:
Do the council mess around with the timings of the traffic lights? The queue down to Winterbourne Hollow has been getting worse and worse, even as early as 7.30, but Ive noticed it towards the hospital its not as bad/really short? Guessing they try to even it out but its def not working out in my favour!!!
On 6 Feb 2018 at 1:18pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I'm convinced they do, Heather.
A few weeks ago, I was positive that the northbound traffic queue was much longer than usual in the mornings, while the southbound queue, while still long, was clearing quite quickly because the lights were staying green for longer than they used to.
On 7 Feb 2018 at 2:58pm Local Resident wrote:
Glad it's not just us that think the flow/priority settings on the junction have been changed recently...
As local residents we have discussed the Prison Crossroads, and associated inconsiderate use of side roads as de facto 'rat-runs' by through traffic, with ESCC and LDC, and our MP on numerous occasions over the last ten or twelve years.
ESCC traffic wallahs always deny tinkering with the prison crossroad traffic light priorities, and tell us that the software and sensor system on the junction is 'smart' and responds to traffic demand from each approach - thus (they say) it may well seem to have 'reset' itself but it is (they say)simply responding to that particular rush-hour's traffic flows.
Personally I suspect that while it may indeed be 'semi autonomous' there must be some 'rules' within the system that have to be set, and adjusted, manually, so that there is some form of 'balance' set for the competing traffic flows, otherwise the busiest approach would pretty much stay 'green' all the time, at the expense of the other approaches.
That said, I suspect varying use of the pedestrian crossings, and any delays due to Brighton road traffic belatedly turning right into Winterbourne Hollow and thus temporarily obstructing the passage of traffic moving onto/across the junction from a green light on the Hollow approach confuses the traffic sensors and thus upsets the system.
For the last two or three weeks the traffic approaching up Winterbourne Hollow has indeed queued further back down Winterbourne Hollow than it did before.
Basically, the junction is unable to cope with today's traffic levels, and ESCC/LDC seem unwilling/unable to come up with a solution to the ever increasing problem.
On multiple occasions during discussions they have denied that it can take a vehicle over 15mins to get from the Houndean Rise/Brighton road junction up to and across the Prison junction (in the rush hour).
ESCC also dispute traffic movement data generated by residents of some of the surrounding roads that show how much traffic uses them as rat runs to avoid the Prison junction.

Unless, and until ESCC think outside the box, and find a way to reduce traffic flows using the Prison crossroads it will only continue to get worse.
How about a northern bypass/link road starting from A27 Ashcombe roundabout, running north/northeast around Houndean and Nevill estates to join the A275 somewhere near The Chalkpit or Offham, and then carrying on across the valley to join up with A26 somewhere near Earwig Corner?
That road would take much of the 'through traffic' (that is currently moving between A27, A275, and A26) out of Lewes town centre and away form the Culfail tunnel and Prison Crossroad bottlenecks. It would be a major capital project for sure, possibly including a tunnel under the Downs below the old racecourse etc plus a major flyover across the Ouse valley, and would be a project that will no doubt have the have the tree-hugging environmentalists up in arms, but without it, then the Prison Crossroads and all approaches to it will remain a serious bottleneck.
Adding to the housing stock in Lewes with NSQ development etc will only exacerbate further the current traffic problems across the town.
For local planners to pretend/believe that the new households being built will use public transport and not their own vehicles is to refuse to accept the reality that, for many, current public transport networks just does not deliver the journeys that are required. If they did I am sure more residents and commuters would use them, rather than sit in the daily traffic jams that blight the town.
While many of us would prefer not to see another chink of downland lost (hence a tunnel under the old race course might be justified), I am sure most would agree that without the current southern A27 bypass, Lewes would not be able to cope with the levels of traffic now seen on the A27 every rush hour. So, why not consider a northern bypass too, and thus give many commuters the option of avoiding passing through the town?
Probably a far better investment than the stupid sums that are being bandied about for a reinstated Lewes-Uckfield railway line, which I suspect will do little to reduce road traffic through the town.
On 7 Feb 2018 at 6:55pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
One thing that might help would be enforcing the ban on big lorries using the C7. A big artic turning right into Winterbourne Hollow from the prison means that everyone misses a go, while the lorry laboriously does a 3 point turn in the middle of crossroads.
It would also stop the traffic backing up along Bell Lane and the Hollow when a massive lorry tries to do a left at the Swan having come up the C7.
There's a weight restriction on the C7 (except for access) but it seems to be more honoured in the breach than the observance.
And I hate to come over all UKIP, but it seems to be mostly foreign-registered lorries. I wonder if they're just blindly following their satnavs.
On 8 Feb 2018 at 9:10pm Pearlie wrote:
I can tell you this, timing is every thing. Sorry, ............timing.........is .....everything. :-)
If I leave Cooksbridge 5 minutes later I queue at the prison crossroads and it takes 2 or 3 changes of lights. I I leave earlier by just 5 or 10 minutes I get the rougher the lights on 0 or 1 change of lights. The reason for this has nothing to do with the lights but the traffic which is backed up by the level crossing in Cooksbridge. Crossing goes down, a queue builds and builds and then there's a knock on effect. So it isn't just on the Winterbourne side. Anyhow, There are maybe quicker routes going than going over that crossing which ever way you are going?

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