Parking permit cash needs spending in Old Town area

Dick Edwards with one of the many broken paving slabs in Hastings Old Town. Pictured in All Saints street. 13/11/12.
Dick Edwards with one of the many broken paving slabs in Hastings Old Town. Pictured in All Saints street. 13/11/12.

CASH collected from parking permits in the Old Town should be spent on improving pedestrian and road safety for local residents.

The Old Town Residents Association wants to see some of the £160,000 annual funds spent on making their streets safer and more user-friendly.

A Freedom of Information request from the Observer revealed that since parking permits were introduced in May 1999, £1.3million has been raised by the council.

The funds are shared equally between the council and the county council.

All of the surplus must by law be used for parking, highway or environmental improvements.

But Association chairman Dick Edwards believes little of it is spent on roads around the Old Town.

He said: “Revenue raised from on street parking should be ring-fenced.

“There are about 3,000 paving slabs that need attention here.

“George Street is a lovely pedestrian road but it is in need of re levelling after more than 20 years.

“We have petitioned East Sussex county council about the beginning of the High Street. They have recently told us there will be some consultants appointed.

“They still will not say when anything will be done on the ground.

“It’s taken nearly three years to try to get Courthouse Street turned into a pedestrianised street.

“The High Street is sometimes used as a rat run. Speed in All Saints Street often exceeds 20 mph.

“If we want a strong local economy it has to be tourist friendly and that means more pedestrians walking around our streets.”

Cllr Phil Scott, lead member for enivronment and highways, said: “We have used the HBC share to fund additional traffic management, transport, planning and highway improvement works in Hastings.

In Old Town, we are introducing bollards in Courthouse Street to stop it being used as a rat run.

“We are also replacing the surface around Winkle Island with more slabs more in keeping with the character of the area.

“This work is being done in conjunction with the county council and Winkle Club.”

County council spokesman, James Holland, said: “All of the money raised from parking is reinvested in local transport projects.

“We have funded the introduction of the 20mph speed limit throughout the Old Town with parking charge surpluses.

“We do regularly inspect pavements and will go out to George Street and see if work needs to be done.

“We are looking into options for the High Street including improvements for pedestrians.”

“There are 3,000 paving slabs that need attention.”

Dick Edwards