Observer wonders why there is so much secrecy about parking control in Uckfield and asks if there has been a falling out on the railway between the old and new parts of Southern’s diesel fleet.
Why is the control of parking in Uckfield such a state secret?
It seems to those of us in the Dog and Duck that the full might of MI5, MI6, the KGB and the United States Secret Service have been brought to bear.
In the last few months members of Uckfield Town Council have discussed parking under the heading of “confidential business”. Now Wealden District Council’s Cabinet is seriously considering following suit.
Wealden talks about “commercially sensitive” information.
‘Discuss principles in public’
Now, what could be commercially sensitive about discussing the principles of parking enforcement and the principles of pay parking in public session?
There is nothing I can think of.
However, the sensitivity comes in if councillors are talking about letting contracts and what terms they would seek and what price they would pay.
That makes sense. No-one wants to reveal their negotiating hand in public.
Questions that need answers
What we do know is that many people in Uckfield and other Wealden towns have asked for on-street parking to be properly controlled.
Enforcement, as we all know, costs.
- How will it be funded?
- Will there be meters down the High Street?
- Will short-term, off-street parking remain free?
- Will the medium-term Luxford Field parking remain free or will that be charged for in future to fund the parking wardens?
Lots of questions for councillors to debate – in public.
Southern’s new trains
There is no doubt the introduction of ten-car trains on peak services on the Uckfield Line has eased over-crowding to a very large extent.
So far, so good.
However, in recent months the diesel fleet which serves this outpost has been beset by failure after failure.
“Short-forms” as the rail industry calls them have become more and more frequent.
Standing room only
When a six-car train forms a ten-car service there is a squeeze and often standing room only for those who join the service after Crowborough.
There’s a suggestion that the diesels that came south from Scotland just do not get on with the original fleet and they “stop talking to each other”.
It needs sorting, and fast – like a lot of other things on Southern.
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