New, ‘accessible’ Eastbourne is becoming increasingly unsafe

From: Shirley MacKinnonCoast Road, Pevensey Bay

Friday, 13th September 2019, 10:54 am

I find that I have cause to write about the increasing unsafe parts of the new “accessible” Eastbourne.

To reach a main library, due to ESCC closures, I need to catch a bus or drive, park at cost in Eastbourne and then walk.

If I wish to go to the cinema, I have to do the same and I find there are difficulties in access to full facilities for disabled people and I also am uneasy about emergency evacuation for all, including children. If I want to do those things or shop in the new facilities (limited as they are), I have to negotiate an outside area with buses, on what I understand is a shared space with no recognisable delineation of areas. If I want to get to a bank I have to visit the town and there is now no free ATM or bank in my village. Parking charges are likely to increase and disabled parking bays have reduced, including full access at the main car park.

But to cap it all I now find that when walking along the parade or at the harbour I have to negotiate a route with cyclists, who are often inconsiderate or rude and occasionally aggressive.

Many disabled people must be feeling concerned; those with sight, cognition or hearing difficulties would be particularly affected. As might be dog walkers; maybe their concerns would gain attraction and support.

Eastbourne Council may well be worried about the decline in High Street shopping with their new and expensive rebuilding in the town, which no doubt is one of the reasons why there is a further delay in the rebuilding of the Sovereign Centre, as money tightens and revenue looks less assured. But to cause safety concerns to large numbers of people who might not visit the town, is ludicrous. Were it just one aspect it might be acceptable, but to have so many reasons not to visit the town should be of major concern to the council.