Buxted has had a re-activated Speed Watch since January 2019 thanks to a number of volunteers. Below, is the latest report from the team together with aspirations for the future:
As part of a wider look at road safety on Buxted High Street, the parish council commissioned East Sussex County Council Highways to carry out two speed surveys in April 2018 – one at the east side of the village outside of The Moorings and one a the mini roundabout outside The Buxted Inn. The speed survey outside the Buxted in is also in association with a pedestrian survey in order to establish if a marked crossing point is needed and is feasible in this location. All of the above has been paid for from parish council fund i.e. public money as Highways no longer has the budget to fund such surveys. The results of the surveys can be found below. The data was passed to the Community section of Highways who will be able to advise it warrants further actions either outside The Moorings, or at the mini roundabout.
Buxted High Street Update – Following the parish council meeting in May, the chairman and clerk attended a meeting with two ESCC Highways officers at which we discussed in detail the Buxted High Street situation, specifically in relation to the potential road crossing outside the Buxted Inn. Following the meeting, the following information was received:
“In accordance with national guidance, pedestrian crossings should be located away from conflict points at uncontrolled junctions. This will give drivers an adequate opportunity to appreciate the existence of a crossing and to brake safely. The minimum recommended distance away from a junction is 20 metres for a traffic signalled-controlled crossing and an absolute minimum of 5 metres for a Zebra crossing.
As we discussed at the meeting, introducing a crossing in the vicinity of the mini roundabout is unlikely to achieve the minimum distance specified above and should a scheme be progressed it is likely that this matter would be raised as a safety concern.
The combination of private driveways and on street parking along the High Street prevent a crossing being introduced. Possible locations further east, towards Gordon Road are away from the pedestrian desire line and become close to the existing zebra crossing by Church Road.”
Subsequently, it as also established that it would not be possible to install a zebra crossing below the roundabout as you could not create a sufficiently wide footway between the wall and carriageway. In addition, the verge levels would also need to be altered as you head towards the Station to accommodate a footway. Visibility may also be compromised at this corner too.
Additionally, it was confirmed that the previous central refuge would fall under different legislation to a zebra crossing.
The parish council commented that the parish council has taken this matter as far as it practically can without unfortunately, being able to come to a positive conclusion.
Top End of Buxted High Street (Outside The Moorings)
With regards the top end of Buxted High Street where the speed survey recorded that everyone passing the sensor was over the speed limit, a Senior Highways Officer advised that he had discussed this matter with Sussex Police and commented as follows:
“Further to our recent email correspondence, I can advise you that I have now had the opportunity to discuss the speed data with Sussex Police.
In summary, the data indicates that the 30mph speed limit is generally well adhered to, given that it is a main east – west ‘A’ class road. The westbound figures, for traffic heading towards the village where the level of frontage development becomes more apparent, are good with mean speeds of around 31mph whilst the eastbound figures, for traffic leaving the village centre and heading out through the slightly less developed part, are a little higher with mean speeds around 33mph.
There is also a relatively low percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit by a significant amount, given the volumes of traffic using the road, and the Police would prioritise their resources on roads with a higher level of offending and a more significant crash record. For information, there has only been one slight personal injury crash in the entire length of the 30mph speed limit for the latest available three-year period.
Although this is not a priority site for the Road Safety Team, you may wish to consider applying for a Feasibility Study through East Sussex Highways to consider what options might be available to further enhance the existing 30mph speed limit. I would suggest that the measures that could be used would be limited as it is an ‘A’ class road and there are already in position a number of 30mph roundels and red surfacing on the carriageway to reinforce the upright 30 signing.”
Since receiving these replies, the Parish Council was approached by a local residents who wishes to reinstate the Speed Watch scheme in Buxted. Contact has been made with Sussex Police and as long a minimum of four volunteers can be found the scheme can get up and running again. Although this is not a longer term answers, Speed Watch has proven to slow down traffic. The Parish Council will support any initiative to get Speed Watch working in Buxted again. In the meantime, the Parish Council are also still looking into a temporary Speed Indicating Device that can be located in various positions within the parish for no longer than six months – this is could be costly and required a wide range of criteria to be met to be approved.
Sussex Safer Roads Partnership undertook a speed Survey of Buxted High Street at the request of Sussex Police in June 2010 for the Speedwatch group.
The data collected during the survey were supplied in graphs and table formats and are reproduced in PDF format below. East Sussex County Highways commented on the survey saying: ‘In the main, the important point to note from the data is that the average speeds over the period that the collection ran for are very good for a 30mph speed limit.’ Click on the link below to view the results. If you would like to see the raw data (excel sheet) please ask the Parish Clerk, Beccy Macklen and he can email you a copy.