This is King’s Drive in January 2016. It is one of Eastbourne’s busiest roads, at the approach to the Rodmill Roundabout by the Hospital (DGH). Pedestrians and cyclists are expected to cross behind the white car – just at the point where vehicles are gathering speed as they exit the roundabout.
But there is nothing in the road to show drivers there is a crossing. No white lines, traffic lights or Belisha beacons – just three broad lanes of smooth tarmac and a “refuge” in the middle.
Here is the “crossing” as experienced by someone walking or on a bike.
This was a Sunday morning, when traffic was fairly light. Cars and vans are frequently stationary on the “crossing” as drivers queue to enter or exit the Rodmill Roundabout.
And it is the same for anyone wanting to cross the busy Rodmill Drive.
Other than some “tactile paving“, there is absolutely no help from the street designers. The message is clear: we want to prioritise people in vehicles – those who are already warm, comfortable and safe.
Not surprisingly, this area is notorious for collisions and injuries not just to pedestrians and cyclists, but also motorists.
Meanwhile, the Department for Transport boasts of its vision for “walking and cycling to become the natural choices for shorter journeys”.
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