Herald Opinion: Mixed news for Eastbourne traders and businesses

MIXED news for Eastbourne traders and businesses this week as a welcome cut in the price of parking charges at one car park was spoilt by the announcement of yet more roadworks to come in the town centre.

The town’s under-pressure traders must have been pleased to hear of NCP’s decision to halve its all-day rates for a trial period.

Shoppers and visitors to the town will now pay £2 to park all day, instead of £4.

Hopefully it will encourage more people to come into the town to shop and perhaps help to reanimate the growing number of vacant shop units.

Let’s hope enough people use the car park and encourage NCP to make it a permanent arrangement.

But on a less positive note, it seems drivers could be facing more town centre trouble this summer.

Southern Gas Works has announced it will begin “Phase 2” of the hugely unpopular work to renew gas pipes in Terminus Road causing an estimated eight weeks of disturbances.

The work, presumably, has to be carried out but traders have a right to expect it to be done with the minimum disruption to this traffic artery in the town centre.

Something which they argue wasn’t achieved the first time around.

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OUR FRIENDS across the pond have a good way of recognising acts of utter stupidity – The Darwin Awards.

These awards “honour” the cretins whose idiotic and dangerous behaviour has resulted in them accidentally removing themselves from the gene pool, or whose moronic actions make you wonder how far they have evolved far the primordial soup.

It seems we have a prime candidate for one of these gongs – the fool/gaggle of fools who made a hoax phone call to East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. This resulted in two fire engines being taken out of action and unable to deal with a potential genuine emergency elsewhere.

Put simply, a stupid prank call could have resulted in serious injury or death.

The fire service’s threats of prison sentences or confiscation of mobile phones are entirely justified.