How can Eastbourne town centre road works take another 62 weeks to complete?

From: M.K. IsaacsBroomfield Street

Friday, 2nd November 2018, 8:06 am
Updated Friday, 2nd November 2018, 9:11 am

I was not in the least surprised to see the headlines in last week’s Herald about continuing traffic chaos brought about by road works in the town centre.

I really am starting to wonder what on earth is going on in our town. Portions of road are dug up and left for days, even weeks, with no work at all taking place, Gildredge Road being an example, where the hapless passengers for the “Loop” bus service and others have to walk nearly to South Street to get their bus past the abandoned works, not that the council would have a care about that.

The chaotic pedestrian crossing at the Terminus Road junction is no better, and there is another long abandoned hole towards the mini roundabout at Grove Road.

Cornfield Road can no doubt look forward to a long period admiring the excavations before any work takes place.

Recently some excitement was generated by the proposed opening of the H&M clothes store, the first in the new part of the centre, on September 28.

Passing bus passengers could see the clothes hanging up, and the store fitted out ready for the big day.

However, alas and alack it was not to be on that day for there was no pavement for H&M’s prospective customers to walk on to gain access to the store and the merchandise within, what a humiliating fiasco for Eastbourne.

Even as I write this anyone who wanted to shop at H&M coming from the station would have to negotiate the station crossing, walk all the way to Banker’s Corner and back, as, yes you have guessed it, the few yards of pavement to the station crossing is not finished.

Another puzzle to me, quite apart from the wisdom of giving permission for a full blown 1970/80s style shopping centre when the internet is decimating retail shops, is how on earth can the road alterations take an incredible 62 weeks?

There are no tunnels to drive, no embankments to make, no bridges to build, most work seems to consist of relocating kerbs, road resurfacing and repaving, whole new roads have been built in less time.

Who is in charge of this project, is there any oversight at all from ESCC or Eastbourne Borough and any penalty clauses in place for overruns, or disruption, or can the contractors just do as they like?

One thing I am pretty certain about is that the works will not be finished in 62 weeks, and if the leader of the council, Mr Tutt, is willing to take me up, I will have a cash bet with him, proceeds to charity, on how far the works overrun.

How about it Mr Tutt?