Thirty minute waiting in 23 parking spaces in Uckfield High Street will allow plenty of time for the pop-in shopper and vehicles needing to load and unload, it was claimed yesterday.
The comment was made by Cllr Ian Smith newly elected chairman of the Uckfield Town Centre Regeneration Joint Committee after a meeting yesterday.
He added the time would also make sure that all those who needed to make use of High Street parking could do so.
A press release from the Uckfield Town Centre Reinvestment Project said suggestions from Uckfield Town Council and Uckfield Chamber of Commerce, which included increasing the number of High Street car parking spaces to 30, plus loading bays, would jeopardise one of the key aims to improve the flow of traffic around the town.
This would place at risk the funding of the project by developers.
Cllr Smith said, after the meeting: “In response to the concerns of local businesses, there has been a three-fold increase in the number of High Street car parking places.
“To allow a futher increase without factoring in the future increase in traffic we can expect from the 1000 homes being built, could spell gridlock for Uckfield town centre in the future.”
Cllr Smith added: “These new homes mean more shoppers. We don’t want them deciding to drive elsewhere because of congestion and because we haven’t put the investment in to make the town an attractive retail location.”
The revised High Street improvement plans will provide 23 parking spaces, and also include wider footways, new high quality paving, new benches, waste bins, cycle stands, street lights and tree pits to help alleviate flooding. There will also be new ‘smart’ traffic lights to monitor and control traffic, particularly at the critical junction of High Street and Bell Lane.
The 30 minutes waiting limit was the preferred option of the 332 people who took part in East Sussex County Council’s High Street consultation in June.
The survey response to the provision of disabled car parking spaces indicated that the majority did not want to see any specific disabled parking allocation on the High Street.
Blue Badge holders will be free to park elsewhere on the High Street as well as having significant provision in Luxford Field so it was agreed that no extra High Street provision should be identified.
Alongside this a review of the provision of disabled parking in Luxford Field will take place as planned.
Joint committee members were reminded that night time working and shuttle working would last for 68 weeks and 52 weeks respectively. Therefore they recommended further consideration be given to introducing a one way working traffic management option – either in a northbound or southbound direction, to help isolate any disruption.
The press release said this would include working closely with businesses to manage delivery schedules so as to minimise disruption during the work.
The second phase of the High Street improvement work is scheduled to begin in January 2016.
An Uckfield News report of the joint committee meeting which took place yesterday can be seen here: Roadworks must go ahead or Uckfield will have ‘tatty’ High Street