A BUSINESSMAN is urging people to back his petition for a mini rail link to be extended from the Old Town along the seafront to St Leonards.
Naz Uddin, proprietor of the Bengal Curry House, has already received more than 150 signatures for his bid to bring a shuttle service to West St Leonards.
Mr Uddin, who has lived in the town for 40 years, believes the west end of town is being neglected in terms of development and investment. He says he has noticed a downturn in trade in recent years with less and less people visiting the west end of town.
Now Mr Uddin wants the rail link between the Old Town and Hastings extended along the seafront past Marina.
And he wants the exciting new plans for the Lido leisure complex to encompass a rail extension that will run all year round.
He aims to collect 500 signatures before handing the petition in to the council.
Mr Uddin said: “I fully support the Lido plans and am very pleased that someone is taking an interest in this end of town - it is long overdue. The focus has been too much on Hastings such as the Station Plaza complex and new college buildings.
“In the last 20 years St Leonards has gone downhill and been left to fend for itself in many ways. My trade has dropped considerably during the last few years because people just don’t come along here.
“We need to increase tourism down this end of town because we feel we are being neglected. The rail link needs to be extended down here and kept running all year round, not just for the tourist season.
“The rail link would also alleviate car parking problems on the seafront because they would leave their cars at the Old Town or Bulverhythe end.
Councillor Peter Chowney, said: “We are trying to attract more investment into the area but we are in the middle of a recession.
“We need the pier to get back on its feet.” If you would like to sign the petition call into the restaurant or telephone 01424 465076.