WALKING around the Old Town, which I do very often, and speaking to shopkeepers and cafe owners, they tell me their businesses are really struggling because of parking restrictions and the closing of the coach park.
Many of these businesses are now up for sale because of a slump in trade.
One restaurateur told me that coach drivers that had been coming to Hastings for many years said they would not come any more and would go to Eastbourne where they were welcomed.
I witnessed this one Saturday morning when my wife and I were walking past the boating lake and saw two coaches had pulled up for a short stop to pop to the toilets and get a bite to eat before moving on. Suddenly a coach parking jobsworth appeared and said they could not park there and would have to move on.
The coach drivers said it was only a short stop. “Can’t help that,” said the jobsworth, so the drivers called back their passengers and said they would go to Eastbourne where they were wanted.
So let’s weight up the pros and cons. On the one hand you have got the lost revenue from the closed businesses and the loss of revenue from the coach park.
So we will be watching very carefully the profits the Jerwood makes and see if it justifies the means. I suppose we old Hastingers could say we told you so.