Hastings town centre area a ‘safety concern’ for pedestrians

A pedestrian section of Hastings town centre has been labelled a ‘safety concern’ due to some drivers ignoring the ‘no vehicles’ signs.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 3:53 pm
Councillors' bollard demo in Hastings town centre - raising awareness around the issue and improve town centre space for pedestrians. L-R: Councillors Maya Evans, Paul Barnett and Judy Rogers SUS-210818-155228001

Hastings Borough Council said the pedestrian area between Queens Road and Wellington Place has recently seen a number of delivery vehicles as many fast-food outlets started offering delivery services during the lockdown.

As a result, drivers have been driving to and congregating in front of the businesses they are collecting from.

Hastings Borough Council said it believes the businesses concerned should review their collection arrangements and consider whether this is a service they can continue to offer from a pedestrianised town centre location.

Councillors' bollard demo in Hastings town centre - raising awareness around the issue and improve town centre space for pedestrians. L-R: Councillors Paul Barnett, Judy Rogers and Maya Evans SUS-210818-155215001

A spokesman for the council said: “It is the responsibility of East Sussex County Council to enforce the traffic regulation order which designates this area as pedestrian only with some exceptions.”

Cllr Judy Rogers, lead councillor for community safety, added: “We have been asking East Sussex County Council to enforce the regulations for a long time. They need to repair and monitor the bollards near the junction with Queens Road to ensure that only essential deliveries are made during the daytime when people are out and about.

“Many drivers are also ignoring the no entry sign at the top of Wellington Place and this is something the police have the power to stop.”

Council leader Cllr Kim Forward said the county council and Sussex Police need to see the problem in person ‘and then sort it out’.

Councillors' bollard demo in Hastings town centre - raising awareness around the issue and improve town centre space for pedestrians. L-R: Councillors Paul Barnett, Judy Rogers and Maya Evans SUS-210818-155202001

She said: “There have been many discussions with East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police, the Hastings Area Business Crime Reduction Partnership, and local businesses to address this issue. But sadly as the summer draws to a close too many of our residents and visitors have found that this area of the town is not welcoming to those on foot.

“This situation cannot be tolerated any longer and I would like the leader of East Sussex County Council and the district commander of police for Hastings to come in person to see the problem and then sort it out!”

Chief Inspector Sarah Godley, district commander for Hastings and Rother, said: she recognised the parking issues in Hastings town centre and the concerns around this issue, but that this was not an issue for one agency to solve on its own.

She added: “We have a strong partnership with local councils and agencies, including the Hastings Business Improvement District and Business Crime Reduction Partnership, and we work closely together to address any issues in the town centre.

“We all want the town centre to thrive, and that means supporting businesses to allow them to sustain their trade while also ensuring the area is welcoming and safe for pedestrians.

“This issue is not for one agency to solve on its own, and we will continue to work closely with our partners to come up with a suitable solution.”