The walk from the Eastbourne railway station to the seafront is squalid. I do dread to think of the impression the town must give to visitors.
There is a limitless number of fast food outlets, some of which attract mobs of teenagers who congregate on the pavements giving shoppers very little room to walk, especially during the period when overseas students are in the town.
To add to the squalor the council in its wisdom has allowed street markets to be present from Marks and Spencer up to Pevensey Road on certain week days.
This is not an attraction which either the visitor or the resident needs. After heavy rain falls there is always a lake outside Marks and Spencer due to the fact that the pavement is so uneven. Nothing has been done to remedy this situation and shoppers are forced to navigate themselves very carefully around it.
I have spoken to several Eastbourne residents who only live in the town because the surroundings are so attractive. They do not shop in the town centre, they prefer to go to Bexhill, Hailsham or other outlying areas. Eastbourne was once known as an elegant town but this is no longer so. TJ Hughes appears to be permanently covered in scaffolding and on the opposite corner there is the Premier Inn still under construction, but not a workman in site.
People come to Eastbourne for their health, both mental and physical. When the weather us bad (and we do get bad weather) there is little to attract visitors to this town.
They stop in their hotel bedrooms waiting for the next meal. It is not surprising so many people go abroad. It is cheaper and cleaner than Eastbourne. I am not convinced that rebuilding the Arndale Centre will be an additional attraction that residents and visitors will appreciate.
Something needs to be done without delay to put Eastbourne on the map for the right reasons.
Mrs JI Hoban