Link will not be a financial burden

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I WRITE with reference to your article headlined ‘Mini-tram plan to be explored’.

Although Mr Uddin, the lead petitioner who called for a Seafront Transport Link and I as his spokesman, are pleased to note the ‘warm welcome’ given to the proposal, it is frustrating to see that the only action agreed by the council, was a ‘feasibility’ study.

Mr Uddin, from the Bengal Curry House, Marine Court, began his petition almost a year ago and it was then presented to the council’s cabinet meeting in June 2012. Both Mr Uddin and myself were promised that we would be told when the matter would next be debated. We heard nothing and only learned of the recent council discussions via the Observer.

Had we been kept informed and permitted to address the cabinet this time round, we would have stressed the obvious economic benefits of having a sustainable transport link along our seafront. The fact that there is not even one bus route from the Old Town to West St Leonards is quite ridiculous.

This transport link should not be viewed as a financial burden but as a potential catalyst for substantial economic benefit.

Honorary Freeman of the Borough, Pam Brown OBE reminds me that a seafront transport link has been discussed for at least 25 years to her knowledge. She is now fighting for the project to be included in the Borough Plan. This would at least show that the council is serious about its alleged enthusiasm and give Mr Uddin and the business sector some hope for the future.

Cynics may well wonder if they will live to see a restored pier, a thriving Burtons’ St Leonards and an attractive use of the former Bathing Pool site at West St Leonards, all served by an environmentally friendly transport link? The thought of feasibility study after feasibility study at goodness knows what cost to the council taxpayer is very depressing.

Let’s make sure that this is really a good news story.

NAZ UDDIN AND RICHARD STEVENS

All Saints Street