Traders in Eastbourne town centre have been left angry and upset as pedestrian access to their shops is closed for six weeks.
The road and pavements from Banker’s Corner in Cornfield Road into Mark Lane – between HSBS and Georgio’s – were shut off last week and will remain so for six weeks as part of the town centre improvement scheme currently ongoing.
Eastbourne and East Sussex councils are behind the multi-million pound scheme and have apologised for the closure – but business owners say it will effect their business at what is normally a very busy period.
Affected businesses include the Loft Bar, Picasso’s, the Labryinth, Janet’s Flowers and Lincoln’s Patisserie. Customers have to access them via the junction with Gildredge Road.
Business partners Darren Myall and Scott Halliday, who bought The Loft earlier this year, said, “It’s a busy cut-through and we need a path reinstated as soon as possible otherwise customers are going to go elsewhere.
“The council is stopping us from earning money. Everywhere else the contractors seem to have dug up half the road and left the other half open but not here. We need access from the town centre, especially with the busy summer upon us.”
An East Sussex Highways spokesman said, “This section of Mark Lane is very narrow and we are carrying out a full-depth reconstruction of the road and pavement with large machinery and other equipment that would make it unsafe for pedestrians. As a result, and in order to protect the public, we have had to close this short section of the road completely to traffic and pedestrians, with a signed diversion route in place.
“Work has started immediately to make sure we can complete this section within the six-week closure period. However, as soon as the work has progressed sufficiently to allow safe pedestrian access, we will provide access to and from Mark Lane.”