Our independent columnist Observer takes a closer look at the town centre roadworks consultation, accuses Wealden District Council of facing in both directions over the Ashdown Forest and praises Uckfield for being a caring town.
East Sussex County Council’s press release on the latest consultation on High Street roadworks only tells part of the story, especially when it comes to traffic management choices.
It baldly states a “one-way system was the preferred option”.
My preferred option – and other people’s too – was a shuttle system of working with two-way traffic maintained throughout the whole works.
The county council ruled this option out as being too expensive and unfunded.
A study of the consultation responses shows some people “voted” for one-way working but some clearly had reservations as illustrated by their comments
Here are some examples:
*Two way traffic should be kept, or at least attempted to be kept. If not one way with Rocks Park opened up;
*Could it not be done in stages over four years or so, so that some business trade could be maintained;
*Why can the work at the wider part of the High Street not be carried out with two-way traffic?
*I think full road closure will affect the traders. In these austere times they cannot afford to lose trade;
*The bypass is not capable of handling any large increase in traffic volumes. Therefore none of these proposals are really suitable;
*There are going to be too many disruptions to the town for negligible benefit. The whole scheme should be scrapped;
*I feel that the disruption caused by this work will have a detrimental effect on traders and visitors generally, an effect which could take many years to recover;
*We have little choice but to accept it;
*I do not consider these works necessary. Reducing parking from 43 to 23 a disaster;
*This will cause problems on the by-pass at peak times but you seem to know best. The people living north and villagers will go out of town for shopping and go north to Crowborough and people living south will go to Lewes or Hailsham.
All this is hardly a vote of confidence.
It was a similar situation when it came to the length of time for wating on the High Street. The choice was 20 minutes or 30 mins. Not quite Hobson’s choice but something akin to it.
East Sussex County Council’s questions clearly drove people to give answers they did not like.
On these pages last Saturday, former deputy town mayor, Jeremy Hallett, asked whether the town should have another parish poll.
Without doubt, would be my answer. Bring it on as soon as possible.
FACING IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS AT THE SAME TIME: I pointed out last week the lack of joined up thinking by Wealden District Council when it comes to the Ashdown Forest.
The council this week illustrated my point perfectly.
A press statement promotes walks on the Ashdown Forest. That’s the same council that is trying to restrict development in Uckfield and other parts to prevent people walking on the forest.
HELPING HAND: Uckfield people seem always ready to give a helping hand to people in trouble or who are down on their luck. The trait goes a long way to making the town such a great place to live. Good luck to the riders taking on a South Downs challenge in memory of butcher Daniel Osborne.