New traffic regulations to ease congestion on Hastings seafront

Moves to keep traffic flowing along Rock-a-Nore come into force on Monday
Moves to keep traffic flowing along Rock-a-Nore come into force on Monday

NEW traffic regulations will come into force on Monday in a busy seafront road to ease congestion during the tourist season.

The rules will be enforced for six months as part of a trial to keep traffic flowing along Rock-a-Nore Road.

The road has been plagued by heavy congestion for many years and with the expected influx of visitors to the Jerwood Gallery this year, the council decided to take action.

A major problem has been caused by the indiscriminate parking by disabled badge holders on double yellow lines in the street.

This has caused traffic congestion and prevented deliveries to various traders and the museum attractions in the street.

Last summer some cars were kept at a stand-off moving in neither direction for more than an hour.

The new regulations restrict any bus or coach from driving into the street.

There will also be a loading ban between 11am and 5pm which also means no disabled parking on double yellow lines.

There will be two loading bays available between 9am and 6pm for 30 minutes only; one to the east near the museums and the other in the lay-by to the west end.

There will be additional designated parking bays for disabled people in the Rock-a-Nore car park.

The council claims it has consulted with the Hastings and Rother Disability Forum and had positive feedback.

HRDF has asked for a review of the operation at the end of the six months.

The proposals have been welcomed by businesses in the street.

Brian Pritchard, owner of the Rock-a-Nore Project, said: “This is just basic common sense.

“I can’t have vans, trucks, buses and cars parked outside my hotel blocking the light to my pavement cafe.

“No one can get in or out when it’s really busy here in the summer. People just sit in their cars for hours at a time eating ice cream and going nowhere. It just clogs up the road and gives everyone a headache.”

Jan Sellers, manager of the Fishermen’s Museum, said: “There needs to be a traffic flow here. We get 155,000 visitors during the summer so we need them to be able to park freely. We won’t be affected by the loading as we and the staff park around the back anyway.”

Councillor Phil Scott, lead member for highways at the borough council, said: “We need traffic to keep moving and though Rock-a-Nore is ultimately a kind of cul-de-sac it is extremely busy with tourists visiting the attractions.

“There are two car parks nearby and no need for anyone to park on the yellow lines. I understand that disabled drivers will lose space down the road but they are able to park in designated bays within the car parks, without charge, for up to three hours. We have been careful to make sure we talk to the Hastings and Rother Disability Forum and will review these new restrictions in September.”