You’re missing the bigger picture complaining about parking

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IN the letter in the Observer headed ‘Businesses are suffering due to parking restrictions’, Peter Moffat-Bailey is missing the bigger picture.

Thank heavens Cllr Chowney, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council, has a letter on the opposite page confirming Hastings has ‘a tourism sector that is re-shaping itself to meet the changing demands of visitors’.

The coach park at The Stade used to serve Hastings Old Town, bringing day-trippers to spend money.

Now, people disembark at the Old Town and coaches drive west to Falaise Road to park, or further, to Seaside Road, Grosvenor Crescent. Creating congestion, it’s expensive and polluting.

I was there on the bank holiday and saw a party of people in wheelchairs and their carers.

One lady was upset having left something on the coach but it was too late, it was gone but would be back in two hours.

The drivers of the big foreign coaches have a trick though. They take coach loads of students to Blue Reef aquarium.

Driving east, they take a right into The Stade as far as possible, then back out into traffic, then drive west and park where they wish.

Being left-hand drive vehicles, students are all over the road to alight the coach on the off-side in the traffic.

No one is moving these guys until everyone is back on board.

I thought this made no sense, until I got to Stade Hall and the Jerwood Gallery to see acres of empty space and one of the high-quality restaurants Cllr Chowney refers to in his letter.

It was empty, save for a woman in a pink top and white dress on the terrace.

Peter Moffat-Bailey misleads your readers by writing that many businesses are up for sale ‘because of a slump in trade‘, Cllr Chowney’s analysis shows ’tourism in Hastings is thriving’.

Being a self-confessed ’old Hastinger’, Mr Moffat-Bailey really must catch up. When the economy improves we’ll all be applauding Hastings Borough Council for the foresight.

Coach loads of low spending visitors? Let Eastbourne have them, it’ll be like Celebrity Big Brother down here.

ERIC CHATER

Old London Road