Our independent columnist Observer admits surprise at the latest Uckfield High Street developments.
The turn of events in Uckfield High Street in the last week or so has taken me aback more than once as changes to shop premises have come thick and fast.
Under the heading: I didn’t see that coming, I would list:
- Plans for what looks like an off licence at the top of the town.
- A vintage tea room for the former Fun-Net café premises.
- A gym open 24/7, 365 days a year (subject to permissions).
- Pepper Dining closing to be replaced by a Thai restaurant.
- George Moss moving up to where Noble Wines used to be.
On the opposite side of the coin, Charles Mears Lamb moving Noble Wines to where there is more readily available parking was quite well telegraphed.
High Street pigeons
There were some good issues raised at the annual town meeting and I’m pleased councillors are pushing to get something done about the pigeon mess in the vicinity of the old post office.
It’s an eyesore on the pavements, probably a hazard and surely cannot be good for health. Keep prodding, councillors, as this mess cannot be good for trade.
My only gripe is that starting the annual town meeting at 7pm is too early for what is now very much a commuter town.
Disabled parking spaces
When the consultation on the High Street improvements were carried out, one in five respondents didn’t want any spaces allocated for the disabled.
That, I thought at the time, was harsh, especially when the town’s shops are on a hill.
We ended up with two spaces at the bottom of the hill. Poor enforcement of the regulations means they are often used by drivers who are not disabled. That’s a poor show.
It seems we will have to wait around another year for a review of “how it is all going”. It seems a long time when quite clearly a couple more spaces nearer the top of the hill wouldn’t go amiss.
By the way, this is taken from an East Sussex County Council report in 2015 when the decision was made on the High Street parking.
“For the question relating to how many parking spaces should be dedicated for disabled use only and which spaces; 67 (20%) respondents did not want any spaces allocated for the disabled. However, 26 (8%) wanted less disabled spaces in Luxford Fields car park, 30 (9%) felt that disabled blue badge holders can park anywhere normally and if any disabled only spaces were introduced then 29 (9%) wanted them to be spread evenly in the High Street.”
It is also worth remembering that at the time the Wealden Disability Involvement Group recommended that up to two spaces be solely allocated for blue badge holders only, saying: “these bays could each be located at the northern and southern end of the High Street”.
You may get a knock on the door in the next couple of weeks or so from a candidate wanting your vote in the county council elections in May.
I suggest you consider making the question of disabled parking spaces in the High Street an election issue.
Sarah Skerman said on the Uckfield News Facebook page:
“I’m astonished at the apparent lack of compassion for the disabled that this highlights.
“The ‘let them use their Blue Badge’ – ‘its all right for them they can park anywhere’ isn’t true.
“Yes, many restrictions don’t apply but we need to be parking safety not just for us or our disabled passengers, but for other pedestrians and road users.
“Factor in the lack of dropped kerbs and access all around the car, and it’s less a case of Park anywhere than, just go somewhere else.
“Being disabled isn’t a lifestyle choice – and it can happen to anyone at any time, at any age.
“Beware making selfish judgments based on a lack of empathy and a serious lack of understanding. One day this could be you, or your child, or elderly relative.
“Nothing focuses the mind more than living the reality of disability.”
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