Observer Comment: Traffic chaos could give town bad reputation

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THERE’S nothing like sitting in a traffic jam for the best part of an hour to turn you off visiting somewhere.

It is all very well talking up Hastings as the new place to be, and reading glowing write-ups in the national press, but what happens when the visitors do begin to pour in?

Unfortunately, traffic chaos may be the answer to that question.

Rock-a-Nore Road junction area was gridlocked for long periods over the Easter weekend, and with the most talked about attractions located in the Old Town, this is where the tourists flock to.

When they come in their thousands there simply is not enough parking, resulting in a bad time had by all, residents and visitors alike.

There is nothing like word of mouth to ruin the reputation of a place, and there is nothing like road rage to ruin a day out.

It seems that those in charge of highways have been caught out and now they are hastily looking at ways of improving traffic flow during busy periods.

With plenty of high-profile events to come this year, in particular those surrounding the Olympic Torch relay, surely parking should have been at the top of the agenda throughout the planning process.

It remains to be seen what the May Bank Holiday will bring.

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Over the last two weeks we have been publishing accounts from our brave Falklands War veterans (see our Features section in the News menu).

On the 30th anniversary, many involved in the conflict - as well as their families - will be fighting painful memories.

The harrowing stories of young men facing possible death underline why so many have suffered psychological, if not physical, wounds.

Men like Stuart Bartlett were given a hero’s welcome on their return, and rightly so, for their service to our country.

Three decades later, we are proud to tell their stories.