On this August bank holiday weekend, Observer, the UckfieldNews.com independent columnist, suggests a coherent strategy to make it easier for tourists and visitors to get the most out of their visit to Uckfield
The main visitor season is drawing to a close but Uckfield, like most places, will continue to attract tourists throughout the whole year.
My questions are:
- How tourism friendly is Uckfield?
- How easy is it for visitors to find places of interest?
Most visitors will arrive by car, some by train and others on the bus.
Now, let’s imagine we have never been before and ask could we do more to help the visitors once in town.
Arriving by train
You couldn’t help but notice one of the town’s gems just across the road – Bridge Cottage – as you leave the station.
Visitors will also realise at once they are close to the shops.
Arriving by bus
You might wonder where you have fetched up.
The bus station, which is set for a revamp, is on the edge of an industrial estate. At first glance, what’s to keep you in Uckfield?
Arriving by car
Most visitors would probably use the Luxford Field car parks and they are accessed by the High Street – so people will have had a passing view of the shopping facilities.
But what else?
Where’s the information telling people what else is on offer?
- Signposts to Bridge Cottage? Nope
- Signposts to other leisure facilities? Nope
- Signposts to other historical features? Nope
You get my drift. There’s a lot more that could quite easily be done, at low cost.
Pedestrian signposts around the town and prominent noticeboards with information would not cost a fortune but would help make the Uckfield visitor experience that much better.
Next year, the legalities should be sorted out so the red phone box, which at present stands forlornly by the rail station car park, can be moved up the High Street to just south of the old post office.
I don’t believe the town council has, as yet, decided on what the future use will be.
As I have said before, it would be a great place to use as an information kiosk where people can access information about the town.
This does not have to be in leaflet form, bearing in mind the possibility that they could be stolen and littered along the High Street.
It is surely not beyond people’s wit in 2018 to come up with electronic information, accessed via smart phones, or in another way.
Making it easy for tourists to navigate our town can only boost the local economy.
Visitor numbers are going up year on year to the whole of Wealden, Uckfield needs to ensure it does everything to take its share.
When it comes to tourism, the local government lead in this area is Wealden District Council.
It makes sense to me for Wealden’s portfolio holder in this area, Roy Galley (who doesn’t live a million miles away from Uckfield) to chair a joint meeting with the town council, Chamber of Commerce and East Sussex County Council highways to develop a coherent plan to ‘sell’ Uckfield to tourists.