County council is trying to torpedo objectives to help town centres with Eastbourne parking charges plan

Street Parking Meter South St Eastbourne SUS-141007-131036001
Street Parking Meter South St Eastbourne SUS-141007-131036001

From: Martin Wellings

Haystoun Park, Willingdon

I have always been of the view that having East Sussex County Council responsible for many items that should be strictly under the control of Eastbourne is a weird arrangement, and the current talk of increasing parking charges does exemplify this.

Our town is currently undergoing substantial works on the roads, and the Beacon centre with the presumed objective of increasing business to the town, and against the backdrop of the national need to protect our town centres against the increasing use of internet shopping, and yet, East Sussex County Council are trying to torpedo this objective.

In case it has escaped the notice of the East Sussex councillors, retail shops are having to compete against the likes of Amazon with an outdated business rating structure and parking charges to discourage people coming in to their shops, and yet if this was not enough, there are plans to actually increase charges.

The fact that parking charges have not increased is irrelevant as the trading pattern in towns has changed, witness the closure of well-known stores in the town and the argument that there is a need to bring parking charges in line with those of Hastings and Lewes is ludicrous – who apart from bureaucrats is the slightest bit interested in harmonising the charges?

So, what do we need?

Apart from the obvious need for Eastbourne to control it’s own parking arrangements, we need free 20-minute parking areas for people to pop into a shop, some one hour only parking to keep a steady availability of parking spaces, consideration of free parking on the outskirts of the town and a shuttle bus into the town centre and finally, abandoning the idea that suddenly some of our older residents are going to abandon their cars and take to their cycles in all weathers!