Meeting focuses on pedestrian safety in the Old Town

A MEETING of Hastings Old Town Residents’ Association (HOTRA) focused on generating ideas for improving pedestrian safety on High Street.

The meeting last Thursday at Stade Hall was attended by residents, traders, councillors, and county council traffic officers.

The meeting was born out of a petition, which collected more than 600 signatures, supporting improvements to safety.

Chairman of HOTRA Dick Edwards made clear that the aim of the meeting was not to find solutions, but to suggest ideas to be discussed further.

Issues raised included enforcement of the 20mph speed limit, illegal parking along the road, and the safety of pedestrians coming out of pedestrianised George Street, onto High Street. The steep nature of the pavement at this end of the street was also raised, along with access problems caused by the pavement outside the Old Town Hall Museum.

There was concern from traders that they should be involved in all discussions, and that any changes made should not negatively affect business.

One idea that was received with interest, was the possibility of creating a low-speed zone in the part of High Street by the shops, where neither vehicles nor pedestrians had priority.

Mr Edwards said: “We have not come to a conclusion, I did not think we would. But it is important to talk.”

Traffic and safety manager for East Sussex County Council, Brian Banks, said that it was important for a consensus to be reached before the council committed any amount money.

Leader of Hastings Borough Council Jeremy Birch added: “Neither authority has huge resources at the moment, but this does not mean that nothing is possible.”