Parking bays at the southern end of Uckfield High Street have been re-opened for shoppers.
Traffic management systems and cones were altered yesterday to make this possible and Uckfield Chamber of Commerce president Bernard Smith welcomed the news.
The one-way system remains in place with only southbound vehicles travelling along the High Street but they are now able to pull into the spaces and park for up to one hour.
Mr Smith said Chamber representatives were working closely with town and district councils, East Sussex County Council Highways Department and the Town Centre Reinvestment committee during the roadworks and the opening of the parking bays was an example of the co-operation being achieved.
He said: “A lot of talking is going on behind the scenes. We are in contact with all of our partner agencies on a very regular basis. They listen to what is said and have been very accommodating.”
He added that while there was plenty of free parking in the central car park adjacent to Luxford Field and in the northern car parks in Regency Close there was now the added convenience of being able to stop on the High Street itself.
“The new station car park also remains free to use at weekends during the roadworks and offers a great alternative for those coming into the town from the south,” he said.
A county council spokesman said the parking bays were available for up to one hour only and motorists were urged not to exceed the limit otherwise the scheme may have to be reviewed.
The spokesman added: “It is planned to try and keep open some High Street spaces for shoppers where possible as the work moves up the High Street.”
Mr Smith said that what you do notice after walking up the completed section of the High Street is how shabby the remaining pavements look.
“Even the most vociferous of opponents to the scheme have to say ‘Actually they’ve done a nice job on that’. It does look good regardless of your views on whether it should have happened at all or about how many parking spaces there will be when it is finished.”
Mr Smith said the work was still scheduled to finish by September but most of the heavy construction should be finished well before then.
“The last weeks of the scheme will be about tree planting and street furniture and getting everything finished off,” he added.
The roadworks have now reached Pizza Express on the west side of the High Street. See in our picture below.
Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory