A controversial £600,000 traffic lights scheme is to be dropped less than a year and half after it was introduced.

The lights at the Cophall roundabout in Polegate, which became operational last May, are to be ripped out.

Motorists have for months complained of long tailbacks and said the lights are confusing and dangerous.

The lights - at the entrance to the roundabout from the Polegate bypass and on the A22 from Hailsham - have been switched off since their sensors broke.

Another set of lights will remain on the southern A22 entrance to help pedestrians to cross the road.

The system was installed as part of the Cophall roundabout project carried out by the Highways Agency.

The agency said last summer the lights would remain turned off until officials were able to monitor the traffic properly.

But the agency has now admitted the lights will be removed - proving the scheme was a waste of hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money.

A spokesman said: "We can confirm that some of the traffic lights will be removed.

"We do not have an exact date yet but the work will be done later in the year."

MPs are pleased the lights will be taken down but are furious so much cash has been wasted.

Polegate MP Norman Baker said: "It is probably right they are coming down but the whole thing has been a farce from the start.

"A huge amount of taxpayers' money has been spent which could have been avoided.

"This is an example of incompetence that should be used round Whitehall to show exactly how not to undertake projects.

"I had meetings with the Highways Agency and passed on the concerns of my constituents.

"Had we been asked in the first place we would have told them we thought it was a waste of money."

Eastbourne MP Nigel Waterson said: "The whole thing has been a waste of money.

"The traffic was flowing perfectly well before they put in traffic lights and as soon as they did it seized up.

"I'm delighted they are now removing most of the lights."

East Sussex county councillor for Polegate Stephen Shing said: "The traffic lights were given a resounding thumbs down by drivers and residents so they will be pleased to learn they are to be removed.

"Pedestrians needing to access their allotments and the pub and services will be pleased that the crossing is to be fully re-instated.

"When the signal equipment is removed the road markings will be amended.

"We await confirmation of the date when the signals will be removed."

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