Improvements to Hailsham town centre are beginning to take shape as work on a £2.5million scheme gathers pace.
Contractor Costain CH2M has started work on footpaths at the northern end of the High Street, and new street lights along the entire length of the road have already been installed.
As the transformation continues, Cllr Bill Bentley, the chairman of the scheme’s steering group – representing East Sussex County Council, Wealden District Council, Hailsham Town Council and Hellingly Parish Council – is keen to get the message out that the town is open for business.
“We are working closely with traders and the contractor to ensure the town remains as accessible to shoppers as possible,” said Cllr Bentley, who is the county council representative for Hailsham and Herstmonceux.
“We have also been working with the Chamber of Commerce, which has invested in a number of signs displayed on the main roads around the town to promote business.”
He added: “We are delighted that by carefully co-ordinating the necessary road closures we have been able to maintain full access to all of Hailsham’s free car parks. We hope this encourages people to continue to support their local shopkeepers while improvement work is carried out.”
The scheme is funded by contributions to infrastructure made by developers building housing developments in the area, and £1.3million from East Sussex County Council. It is being delivered in partnership with Wealden District Council, Hailsham Town Council and Hellingly Parish Council.
The improvements, which have been subject to public consultation, include changes to the road layout and the number of parking spaces in the town centre, as well as new pedestrian crossings on the High Street, Vicarage Lane, Vicarage Road and George Street and additional disabled parking and loading bays.
The High Street will remain open to pedestrians for the duration of the work, with vehicular access around the town centre possible via Vicarage Lane, George Street and North Street.
All Stagecoach and Compass services are being diverted via North Street and will use the layby area opposite Tesco as a stop. This will continue until the completion of the work in November.
Cuckmere Buses and the taxi stand have been moved to Vicarage Lane and taxis can also be picked up in the Asda car park behind Pipers News.
Cllr Bentley added, “With significant new housing development, Hailsham will continue to grow and as a result in an increase of traffic in the town centre.
“This scheme gives us the perfect opportunity to ensure we can cope with the increase in traffic, while improving the area for pedestrians and those using public transport and ensuring Hailsham remains an attractive place in which to live, work and shop.”
He said, “I would like to thank Costain CH2M for the effort they have made to work with the local community and minimise disruption during the work, and the speed with which they are delivering the project.”
Updated information will be available online throughout the scheme at www.eastsussexhighways.com/events/hailsham-town-centre-regeneration-works
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