Uckfield High Street improvements remain on target to be finished by the end of September, members of the Town Centre Regeneration Joint Committee were told on Friday.
East Sussex County Council project manager Elaine Martin said the contractors Colas had completed the majority of the western side of the High Street, including Civic Approach, Library Way and Church Street junctions.
They were currently working on the eastern side and in Bell Lane.
She said the one way system was still in operation, new bus shelters with real-time passenger information were in place, street lighting was installed and pedestrian signals, particularly in the middle of the High Street had been upgraded.
She added trees and street furniture would be going in soon.
Chairman and deputy re-appointed
In a meeting that lasted about 20 minutes – committee members held a meeting in private before the one which was open to members of the public – district councillor Roy Galley was re-appointed chairman, and district and county councillor Claire Dowling was re-appointed deputy chairman.
Both were proposed by Uckfield Mayor, town councillor Louise Eastwood.
Cllr Galley queried whether the town council was happy not to take the chair and the mayor confirmed it was.
Questions were answered about power outages, fumes coming from a generator in the Luxford car park, issues relating to emergency services being unable to access the High Street, about the destruction of bricks that should have been saved during the work, and about somebody falling after tripping in Church Street.
Uckfield town clerk Holly Goring said there were power outages when the power network had to redirect part of town from one sub-station to another due to a fault in the first.
And Elaine Martin said there was an outage the previous day (Thursday, July 14) relating to the installation of street lighting but that had been dealt with “quite quickly”.
Fall in Church Street
She said the problem with the generator had been dealt with, and she said the fall in Church Street was in a private courtyard and not on the highway.
Uckfield town councillor Diane Ward said she understood the problem was where the new paving met the courtyard and Ms Martin said she would get the inspectors to have a look.
Town clerk Holly Goring said the fire service had confirmed it was content with current arrangements for emergency access made with Colas. There had been no delays or issues affecting them.
But she said the ambulance service reported they had been affected by a couple of issues and the town council would continue to follow up on that.
Town councillor Donna French said that if she hadn’t been in town when brickwork was being demolished all the bricks outside Carvills would have been lost. She asked why the workmen did not know the intention was to save them and was told there had been a communication problem within Colas.
Other queries about the roadworks were raised in a statement from a member of the public Val Frost. She was unhappy after the meeting that it had not been read out.
Instead Cllr Galley said the points raised would be answered by Elaine Martin and then sent to the town council.
Clerk Holly Goring said she would ensure the answers were circulated to councillors and to residents who had raised them.
Cllr French asked for an assurance that the answers would be formally minuted so that they could be accessed online.
Mrs Frost gave a copy of her statement to Uckfield News.
She was concerned about a shortage of disabled parking spaces and about lorries and vans parking on the new pavements. She said one disabled parking space was not enough, four would have been more like it, plus two more south of Boots lights and another two north of the Church Street junction.
Those spaces should have been provided in addition to the 23 general parking spaces and there should be loading/unloading bays too.
She said temporary traffic lights at the Church Street junction constantly failed while in situ and caused huge delays to traffic and that during works in Civic Approach access to business premises was blocked off for staff and visitors.
She wanted to know whether the roadway on Civic Approach was going to be made good after being “gravely damaged with pot holes, and broken road surface, caused by the movements of heavy plant from the Colas compound to the High Street.”
She was also concerned about “trip hazards” and said some of the paving stones could do with stabilising. “I think a health and safety inspector would have a field day in Uckfield at the moment.”
Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory