Herald Opinion: Terminus Road buses.. joy for some, disappointment for the majority

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Traders have had a taste of what life would be like without buses in Eastbourne’s Terminus Road - and they didn’t like what was served up.

Remedial work on worn-out gas works in what has long been labelled Diesel Alley has resulted in nine weeks of disruption, with buses diverted to temporary pick-up and drop-off points in Gildredge Road.

The result was a double whammy for hard-hit Terminus Road traders, with the street outside their shops in a mess along with the lost passengers normally dropped off on their doorstep. One shopkeeper claimed his takings were down as much as £100 a day and that it would take him the rest of summer to recover.

And yet there is a firmly held view in many quarters that Eastbourne’s commercial centre will never properly thrive again until the town rids itself of Diesel Alley. The grimy, fume-ridden approach to what lies beyond is a poor first view of the town to visitors who arrive from the direction of the the rail station.

The self-interest of the bus company and a section of Terminus Road traders is understandable. Why would they want change when the alley serves them so well?

But for much of the rest of the town, this is a no-brainer. To divert the buses and pedestrianise the remainder of Terminus Road would enhance the approach to the town and give shoppers a much more pleasant experience.

Joy for some at the return of the buses should be tempered with disappointment for the majority. For the good of the town, Terminus Road needs one day to suffer turmoil on a much bigger scale.

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A BIG worry for people going into hospital is what else they might catch. Infection rates are often appalling. C.diff and MRSA have become dreaded phrases.

All of which makes even more impressive the strides taken at Eastbourne DGH to reduce hospital infections so dramatically.

In a year in which the hospital trust treated more patients than ever, such an improvement makes good reading. What doesn’t is the budget overspend of just short of £5m. Whatever the deficit, the rescources put in place to reduce infection cases must not now be compromised.