Calls to tackle Rock-a-Nore parking gridlock

Traffic in Rock-a-Nore
Traffic in Rock-a-Nore

A petition has been launched, calling for council bosses to tackle parking problems at Rock-a-Nore.

Hastings Motorboat and Yacht Club said the area is constantly gridlocked and urgent action was needed.

Kev Hill, who launched the online petition, which so far has been signed by more than 1,400 people, said: “Whenever the weather is kind enough, many thousands of both tourists and residents head for Hastings seafront and, in particular, the Rock-a-Nore area.

“The car park there rapidly fills to capacity resulting in instant gridlock along Rock-a-Nore Road from noon onwards due to the total absence of any traffic control effectively preventing further vehicles entering the area.”

He said the problem is exacerbated by traffic lights at the junction of Rock-a-Nore Road and The Bourne.

He added: “It can take more than an hour of ‘stop-start’ driving to travel the effective ‘loop’ into the car park to then immediately have to exit as it is full. Not only is this extremely frustrating but what message does this send to tourists?

“If there was any form of accident or emergency then the emergency services would find it nigh on impossible to reach the scene of the emergency with the gridlock that prevails.

“The council needs to implement measures now, before high season, to address these serious issues.

“Attendants should be engaged to properly manage the flow of traffic as an interim measure while a longer-term solution is effected.”

Kev said a roundabout should be built at the junction of Rock-a-Nore Road and The Bourne, which he believes will alleviate the problem.

A spokesman for Hastings Borough Council said: “East Sussex County Council (ESCC) is responsible for highways and traffic management in Hastings.

“We are aware of the seasonal traffic issues at the Rock-a-Nore junction and have already been trying to ease problems as and when they arise by using our wardens, by putting out signage in the vicinity and using our three static digital signs to alert motorists to this problem and encourage them to use the other car parks.We also deploy car park ‘stacking’ staff at key weekends, to try and ensure that the space at Rock a Nore car park is maximised.

“However, we will be working closely with ESCC and the wider community to identify longer term solutions to these seasonal issues.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We appreciate the frustration caused by queuing traffic. Unfortunately, it would not be appropriate to build a roundabout at the junction of Rock-a-Nore Road and The Bourne, as this would give priority to traffic joining the A259 from a side road and cause more congestion on the A259. A roundabout would also present a problem for pedestrians who rely on the crossing facilities at the traffic lights.

“The opening of the Link Road has resulted in a reduction in traffic levels along the A259 through Hastings, and this should mean less congestion at the junction of The Bourne and Rock-a-Nore. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

To view the petition online click here.

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