Mixed reactions followed confirmation yesterday that the number of parking spaces in Uckfield High Street is to be halved during improvement works.
Full details of an announcement, and an artist’s impressions of revised plans, can be seen here: Twenty-three parking spaces confirmed for Uckfield High Street.
Work is due to start in January to widen footways, provide new, high quality paving, new benches, waste bins, cycle stands and street lights. There will be new ‘smart’ traffic lights to monitor and control traffic and tree planting to help reduce flooding.
But the issue that has got everyone talking is the reduction to 23, from 43, of on-street parking spaces in the High Street. The first set of plans allowed only eight spaces.
Some business people made their views clear about the cut in an Uckfield News story on Friday. See: High Street parking spaces halved under new plan, UckfieldNews.com understands.
For example the owner of Noble Wines, Charles 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.”
Another business owner said he was “aghast” at the proposals and added: “They want to ruin the High Street.
But Kay Bevan, owner of Joli Couture said last night on the Uckfield News Facebook page that Uckfield was lucky to still have free parking.
She challenged people who said they would go elsewhere to shop: “So … everyone is going to desert their local high street and shop elsewhere. Where exactly: Haywards Heath, Tunbridge Wells, Lewes, Eastbourne maybe?
“Where in these towns can you park in the high street or not to mention in a car park for free?
“I still think we are very lucky in this town that we park for free. I’m pretty sure people would find other places to park or walk, if they had to pay a meter to park in the high street.”
We need to support small businesses
Tracy Wade supported Kay saying: “I’m a bit stunned that the people of Uckfield have to park right outside a shop or will go elsewhere, lazy much!
“In Lewes you pay to park apart from Tesco or Aldi. And shopping in Tesco doesn’t save the high street anyway.
“Perhaps if all those who signed the petition bothered to use small businesses the high street wouldn’t be in such dire straits in the first place …”
Give us quality shops
Enrico Tizzano said: “If we look at this dispassionately we do absolutely need wider pavements as it’s a nightmare during busy periods, like weekends or when school’s in/out.
“But there is a fundamental problem here, I have less and less motivation to shop in the high street because there are no shops there I want to shop in.
“So, other than the odd meal in Hartfields and a trip to The Picture House, that’s pretty much the extent of me walking along the high street.
“Lack of quality shops=lack of trade, simple really. Pavements and trees won’t solve that.”
Where’s the traffic in artist’s impressions
Jean Taylor Goring said: “Artist’s impression looks very impressive, I don’t think anybody could disagree.
“Of course it also looks good because it hasn’t the normal volume of traffic driving through the town, or the lorries delivering to the shops, or school traffic. Artistic licence.”
See more reactions on this threat of comments Uckfield News Facebook page.
A public exhibition of the plans is to be held at Uckfield Civic Centre on Friday, June 26, from 2-8pm and on Saturday, June 27, from 10am to 4pm.