Too many cars on Eastbourne roads: Out in the Field

If I wasn’t already convinced to ditch the car in favour of my sturdy, faithful pushbike, the news that Eastbourne planners have given the green light to allow 60 new homes on the old Gate Court Dairy site in Waterworks Road has more than made up my mind.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 11:06 am

The approval of the application is the latest in a number of schemes for the Roselands and Bridgemere area. One of the first to be approved was the redevelopment of the old BT site – on the junction with Moy Avenue – to provide 45 flats, 27 maisonettes and 88 car parking spaces. Go round the corner into Courtlands Road and the ESK Warehouse site remains up for sale with planning permission for 130 homes and more than 150 parking spaces.

I’m no mathematician but that’s an awful lot more vehicles joining the throng of queuing traffic snaking along St Philip’s Avenue, Waterworks Road and Whitley Road trying to get in and out of town during peak times. It’s a nightmare in that area at the best of times without throwing another 300 plus vehicles into the mix.

So called Section 106 Agreement cash – which developers pay the local authorities when such major developments are approved could help with improving transport links and that includes dedicated cycle routes. A comprehensive cycle path in to and out of Eastborne town centre is still long awaited.

And whatever happened to the plan for the seafront cycle route which would have been on the hotel side of the seafront and leading away from the town only? When the elections are over in two weeks time hopefully the newly elected councillors at East Sussex County Council will put this dilemma at the top of their agendas.

A huge round of applause for Morrisons supermarket which is doing its bit to end period poverty. The store in Eastbourne is taking part in a scheme called Ask for Sandy and anyone in need of or struggling to pay for sanitary products can simply go to the customer service desk and ask for a packet that Sandy has left. You will be given a discreet envelope with what you need – no questions asked. A brilliant initiative.

An advert cropped up on social media this week which made my eyes roll. Having given some of the most talented backstage technicians and front of house staff in the country the big heave ho during a round of job cuts last year, Eastbourne council’s theatres department is now looking for stage hands, flymen, lighting, sound and video technicians, dressers and stage door keepers to join a casual crew database as it prepares to raise the curtain on live entertainment once again. Such a shame they were let go in the first place.

And finally this week, I am happy to report that you don’t have to venture in to the men’s toilets near the Bandstand on Eastbourne seafront if you want free drinking water from a refill station just inside the door – the ladies’ on the other side of the iconic landmark has its own refill station too and its surroundings are far more salubrious. You need never to buy another bottle of plastic water again when walking from Birling Gap to Sovereign Harbour.