We refer to the C7, of course. Actually it’s quite short, but it’s certainly winding, and it’s badly maintained, busy and dangerous.
Those of us who rely on the C7 know only too well how dangerous it is. With its many blind bends, hazardous junctions, and speed limits of 40 – 50 mph, it is used by around 10,000 vehicles per day. Located within the South Downs National Park, and designated as a country road, it is also used extensively by cyclists, as well as by walkers and sometimes horse riders. Most of us who use this road regularly can describe the many accidents, incidents and frightening near misses we have experienced on the C7.
The ongoing concerns voiced by local residents, cycling and equestrian groups, have led communities along the route of the C7 to join together to seek to develop a strategy to reduce speeds, to increase safety, conserve the rural nature of the road, and to encourage traffic to use the parallel A26 trunk road, which – unlike the C7 – was upgraded in the 1970s to deliver fast access between the A27 and the coast.
This initiative is called the Safer C7 Project, and is being led by POLO, the association of the Parishes of the Lower Ouse. The first phase of the project is to raise funds for a specialist consultant to draw up a traffic calming strategy for the C7, based on the principles and exemplars in the South Downs National Park study, Roads in the South Downs – Enhancing the safety and quality of roads and places in the National Park, (June 2015). This phase of the project is due for completion in Spring 2021.
The consultant will then conduct a baseline survey and draw up a strategy for the road. We will be collecting evidence of the need for the C7 to be calmed and seeking public support and endorsement for the plan. At the same time, sources of funding and sponsorship to implement the plan will be sought, and the ground will be prepared with the relevant public bodies, including ESCC Highways, local councils, and the national park.