The Traffic

The Friends of Lewes aims to minimise the impact of traffic on the town – its noise, air pollution and the physical damage to roads.  We wish to encourage the use of sustainable transport by residents and visitors.

  • As part of our support for tourism, we will continue to press for better pedestrian signing around the town and for a dedicated visitor coach park.
  • Historically, we halted the County Council’s disastrous Inner Relief Road Plan, which would have split the town in half; instead, we championed the building of the Southern Bypass and the Cuilfail Tunnel.
  • More recently, we campaigned for the introduction of a 20mph speed limit in the town centre and supported its extension to other parts of the town.  We worked with the Highway Authority on plans to make Cliffe High Street more pedestrian friendly.
  • We are in favour of the introduction of continuous cycle paths through the town and increased cycle parking facilities, preferably of the heritage type already used in the Precinct.
  • In conjunction with the main entrance to North Street Quarter which will be from Phoenix Causeway, we support the proposal that vehicles leaving Waitrose car park can turn either right or left, allowing traffic to avoid entering the town unnecessarily.  Roads within the North Street Quarter development are to be designed to keep vehicle speeds low, to improve the environment for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • We supported the introduction of a controlled parking zone in Lewes.  We are aware of the continuing need for adequate car parking in the town, particularly as current developments are adding housing without increasing parking space.
  • Although in principle we would support the idea of a Park and Ride facility for Lewes, in practice we are aware that the potential number of cars using such a facility would be likely to be insufficient to support a frequent bus service, making it non-viable.  The car park in the North Street Quarter, once built, will serve a similar function, with drivers able to park centrally but avoid entering the town itself.  Ideally, there should be a frequent bus service between the railway station, the bus station and the top of the town.
  • We proposed the change in priority at the junction of West Street and Fisher Street, to help reduce congestion and hence improve air quality in Fisher Street.  Reducing air pollution is particularly difficult in Lewes because of its narrow streets and may have to wait for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.  Minimising car use is the best current approach.
  • We called for a reduction of noise from the A27 by-pass of the town.  This is a consequence of the amount of traffic and its speed.  It has been alleviated, but not totally eliminated by the introduction of quiet surfacing.  Noise could also be reduced by lowering the speed limit, but Highways England have refused to do this.

Follow our progress on these issues in the latest Friends of Lewes Newsletters, and explore our statements and submissions to the planning authorities on traffic issues.