The first stage of the improvements is a package of measures expected to cost between £2 million and £2.75 million and funded by developer contributions. These measures will include:
- assisting in the provision of a car park on the former station site opposite the existing station,
- pedestrian improvements and enhancement of the High Street,
- improvements to the efficiency of the three key traffic signal junctions along the High Street corridor and rationalisation of the pedestrian crossing points,
- improvements to the bus station, and,
- potential introduction of new signals at the Tesco roundabout in Bell Lane.
The next stage is to draw up detailed plans for the proposals and consult with local people in 2013. We hope to start work on the ground in late 2013 or early 2014. In the longer term, it may be necessary for a second stage of additional town centre improvements once the first stage has been analysed.
Councillor Carl Maynard, Lead Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: "Everyone living or working in Uckfield knows the town centre already suffers from congestion, and with more housing being built, traffic will only increase. To keep Uckfield as a vibrant and flourishing town we need to take action now.
"We have been talking with people in Uckfield about the improvements to the town they would like to see to deal with the congestion and encourage a healthy local economy. We know that car parking is a priority and this is part of the first stage of these proposals. But they also included other areas for which people showed support including improvements to the High Street and measures to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport."
The planned improvements follow consultation with local people at an exhibition in March and online on four possible options. When asked which option would address traffic congestion problems in Uckfield, people responded as follows:
- Extra car parking 51%
- Southern road 37%
- Smarter Choices 33%
- Northern road 23%
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