Sit back, calm down and wait. That is advice given to Uckfield residents anxious about plans for a second stage of roadworks in the town.
The words came from Mick Harker, chairman of the Town Centre Regeneration Project Board at a meeting of Uckfield Town Council when he updated fellow members about progress on planning for a second stage of roadworks to improve Uckfield High Street.
He said a review of proposals was under way and the result of that was dependent on cellar and tree pit surveys and other data being collected at the moment.
The review was expected to be completed towards the end of April, early May, with stage two work split into two phases, the first beginning in late summer.
Cllr Harker said all the options would be presented to the Chamber of Commerce so it was fully aware of the impact on traffic.
The next meeting of the project board is due to take place on Friday, February 13. At the last meeting, project board manager Matthew Reid said the draft design and traffic management options would be brought to the February meeting.
Concern was raised at the full town council meeting on Monday by Cllr Paul Meakin that it might not be possible to retain parking on Uckfield High Street because planning permission was given for a new station car park to be built by Network Rail on the basis that High Street parking should be removed.
Cllr Harker said that was not the case. “Nowhere in the planning permission does it say this application will only happen if on street parking is removed. There is no condition in there whatsoever that means we can have Network Rail or on street parking. It just says the Network Rail car park is approved.”
Cllr Harker said: “We are reviewing the amount of on street parking, loading and unloading bays and this seems to be something that has built up into an enormous issue.”
He added that the board was also looking at the elimination of at least four pinch points on the High Street where it was impossible to go past someone with a buggy or disabled scooter.
He said people had approached him to say thank you for looking at ways of helping disabled people and mums with buggies.
“These are really important things. There are one or two very loud voices of people who hide behind a social network, only open to few people, when genuine voters say thank goodness you are doing something to improve the High Street.”
He said the whole scenario was being reviewed. “Sit back, calm down and wait and see what comes out”.
Cllr John Carvey agreed with the advice. “We have got to wait and see. There are certain parking places I want to see eliminated, outside Superdrug for instance. It is dangerous there.”
He said that before people got excited they should wait and see what the proposals were.
He also said that he knew there was a pinch point outside The Station pub but he now felt much safer walking there and thought his life expectancy had increased thanks to the first stage of work.
Have you seen the Town Centre Regeneration Project Facebook page? Questions about High Street improvements and regeneration of the centre of town are answered there.