Luke warm reaction to pedestrian plans for town centre

Plans to pedestrianise Terminus Road from the railway station right up to the seafront have been given a luke warm welcome by highways bosses.

The new town centre regeneration plans and Arndale Centre extension plan will see the controversial Diesel Alley bus lane being relocated and just a small stretch of the road being left for buses to drive through to stops at Bankers Corner.

Last week a group of businesses called for the entire length of the busy road to be turned into a piazza and a campaign group has been set up, which is calling on local authorities to back it.

But bus company Stagecoach says closing Terminus Road to buses completely would increase journey times for passengers by 20 per cent with complex diversions around the town centre.

A spokesperson for Stagecoach said, “The consequence of this is that many journeys by bus would become unattractive because of the increased journey times, fewer cross-town buses could be provided and integration with trains and between bus routes would be seriously disrupted. Given the number of people who rely upon the bus to access the town centre, this campaign seems to lack sound business sense.”

East Sussex County Council, the highways authority in Eastbourne, is equally unimpressed saying there has already been extensive consultation on what should happen to the buses and Terminus Road.

A spokesperson said, “The proposals being developed are being done in partnership to find the best way of making improvements to Terminus Road whilst meeting different people’s needs.

“We will introduce an improvement scheme from the station forecourt up to and including Cornfield Road. It will include wider footways, a narrower road with an improvement in the street materials to allow people to take the bus to Terminus Road and provide a pleasant environment for shoppers and visitors.”