Comment by Observer
Developers of the 1,000 homes site at Ridgewood Farm have provided only the most scant information for the public exhibition at the Civic Centre.
Two boards, each with three panels, in the thoroughfare to the council offices, lavatories and Weald Hall was rather less than I expected.
For one, I would have thought a dedicated room should have been provided, rather than having the boards against the divider which separates the corridor from Luxfords restaurant.
I’m not sure either, if having people looking at an exhibition is an awfully good sales pitch for the restaurant itself.
Of course, the boards are going to be there for a week and it probably would not be economic to have a member of staff on hand for all that time.
I think the developers and their agents should have hired a proper room at the civic centre, have someone on had to answer questions and take comments, even if it meant the exhibition was only open on Friday and Saturday.
News report here
The High Street roadworks
The account of the meeting about phase two of the roadworks made interesting reading.
I would make this point: the people who attended represented the businesses of the town and that townspeople as a whole may have a slightly different view. So far, there has been no wider forum for such discussions which must surely now take place.
Having said that, I go back to what I said before Christmas which was that an old-fashioned British compromise is what is needed. See here
It needs some “give and take” on all sides. Some existing parking spaces do lead to dangers and delays; some pavements do need widening and some dedicated delivery bays would not be a bad thing.
It must also be remembered that parking spaces on the Luxford Field car park should be plentiful once the station car park opens.
There needs to be a wider consultation with all townspeople before a final decision.
Oh, and consistent enforcement of the restrictions. We shouldn’t really have to say that but the police appear unable to deliver what should be a basic service.
The train service ‘shambles’
For the first four working days of this week, the Uckfield line trains remained in total chaos.
Southern and Network Rail are still encountering points and signal failures at London Bridge but have weeded out some suburban services to ease congestion problems.
What has made the Uckfield line a misery is this week there has been the shortage of rolling stock.
The trains in use are used at virtually maximum capacity day in day out, leaving little time for repairs and maintenance. Some have also been disabled following accidents.
I have seen suggestions on Twitter that Southern should hire locomotives and carriages to supplement services on the line. It seems to make sense in the short term.
However, Uckfield people can only reiterate, what is as plain as a pikestaff, that the line to Hurst Green must be double track in its entirety and it must also be electrified.
Once that happens, the train operator would have a greater pool of trains to draw on when units fail. Delays caused by waiting for trains to be in the “passing places” would be eliminated.
It is such an obvious thing to do except Network Rail seem in no rush to do anything and for some reason this part of East Sussex seems to have little political clout in Whitehall.
Such a scheme (and reconnecting Uckfield with the south coast) could be achieved at a fraction of the cost.