Revised plans for Uckfield High Street will see the number of parking spaces roughly halved, UckfieldNews.com understands.
No official announcement has been made but sources familiar with the situation have indicated the spaces remaining if the works are carried out would be 23, available for shoppers, disabled people and delivery vehicles.
The previous plan had set aside specific spaces for each class of vehicle.
‘Hugely disappointing if figures correct’
We understand the majority of spaces in the revised plan would be between Bell Lane and Church Street (the west side) with only a handful between Hempstead Road and Bell Lane (the east side).
The 23 spaces are believed to also include the three which remain between Bell Lane and River Way.
Traders and business people spoken to this morning by UckfieldNews.com said they would be “hugely disappointed” if those figures proved correct.
Another business owner said he was “aghast” at the proposals and said it was “disgraceful” that the petition and Parish Poll result had been ignored.
‘Ruining the High Street’
“They want to ruin the High Street,” the business person commented.
Owner of Noble Wines, Charles Mears-Lamb said at present there were officially 43 on-street parking spaces in the High Street .
To cut it in half, he said, was ridiculous. He pointed to the planning approval for 1,000 homes at Ridgewood which would generate an even greater demand for car parking.
Mr Mears-Lamb said: “It is absolute madness. They haven’t taken into consideration anything. They have not listened. They have made a mockery of democracy.”
He said attempts were being made to explore whether the plans could be legally challenged given the decisive result of the referendum (Parish Poll).
Earlier this week Mr Mears-Lamb said he feared the proposals – which were as he expected – would not meet traders’ demands. See our report here
Traffic management options
UckfieldNews.com also understands a number of “options” are on the table for how traffic would be managed while the works are carried out.
Uckfield ground to a halt at peak times last autumn when the first stage of the roadworks was carried out between Bell Lane and Framfield Road.
Under that phase, all southbound traffic had to leave the town via Bell Lane.
Town council to be briefed on Monday
Options on the table this time are likely to be one-way working; two-way alternate working controlled by lights with in one case works going on into the evening. Each option will take different lengths of time to complete.
Under the original plans, work on this phase should have begun this year but it is now believed the revised plan does not envisage any work starting until next year.
Uckfield Town Council is due to be briefed on the plans on Monday. A public exhibition is due to be held on June 26 and 27.
Fiona Monson, president of Uckfield Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber’s executive committee was told last night about the revised plans. She said she could not reveal details but said there was no scope to comment on the plans.
Chamber views were sought though on different options for traffic flow schemes and they were left with the committee for consideration.
Fiona said the Chamber executive committee would respond to the council, and look at issuing a press release, next week.