Malcolm Rasala: the Terminus Road redesign

The intent is great. The proposal passé, Three cheers to the ESCC and EBC for seeking to improve

the station end of Terminus Road. But guys, girls, planners, councillors, civil servants is this seriously the best that we can do in 2015?

Buzzy phrases like “rather than follow ….more conventional designs” a “vibrant town centre” are bandied about in this document and then instantly forgotten. In all seriousness, how is continuing to run buses along Terminus Road, as at present, likely to reduce bus/pedestrian conflict?

You mean we can now be hit by a 12 ton bus at 5mph rather than 10mph? The DGH will be ecstatic! Are we getting a new fleet of non toxic fuelled buses? Terminus Road is called diesel alley for a reason.

Why not simply redirect all buses up and down Gildredge Road and Hyde Gardens. Put the bus stops on Gildredge Road. Turn Terminus Road into a Piazza. Pedestrians could then enter/ exit the new Arndale from a joyous piazza. Coffee. Read a paper. Chat. Relax. Muse how great it is to be alive? And In Eastbourne? None of which the present proposal proffers. Who knows Eastbournians might even relearn the habit their French, Spanish, and Italian neighbours never forgot; to come to the piazza to meet their friends and enjoy the atmosphere of a truly beautiful and joyous town centre.

Go look at the great piazzas in Italy. If you need to know which I will suggest some. Go see Aix-en-Provence. Go see Salamanca. Go see Florence and Rome. And I bet other Eastbournians can suggest some too. Can’t we learn from the world’s best urban planners and make Eastbourne a “Glad to be alive in town” centre? And while we are on the subject why not animate this piazza with truly beautiful and dynamic statues that enoble the spirit. People want to be inspired. They want to linger. Look on things that lift the soul. If you need great, inexpensive British statue makers I can suggest some.

As usual, when it comes to most British town planning we sense the intention of radical, dynamic more beautiful but rarely experience follow through. Certainly not in the ESCC document on the suggested Terminus Road improvements. Lets tweak this well-intentioned document. And create something of real and historic splendour.