Much more than cosmetic surgery

Robert Mucci’s long letter on January 22 gives his reasons for objecting to the road safety improvements starting on February 1.

He explains that there are problems caused by the high pavement outside the Old Town Hall Museum.

HOTRA has repeatedly raised the same concerns and suggested a possible solution.

However, his letter obscures the need for improvements to pedestrian safety in the High Street.

George Street is undoubtedly the most lastingly successful retail street in Hastings.

Pedestrians feel safe to stroll along and visit the shops and restaurants.

Significantly fewer walk up the High Street.

The pavement on the east side is narrow and slopes steeply to the kerb.

This makes it unusable for wheelchairs and buggies. People are forced to walk in the road.

The new pavement from Fagins to John the Cobblers will reduce the risks to pedestrians.

Yes HOTRA is responsible for organising a petition signed by over 620 local people asking ESCC to improve safety.

ESCC listened to those concerns and carefully assessed possible designs.

They then organised public exhibition in St Mary Star of the Sea hall.

Their officers have been diligent. The plans were properly advertised in legal notices in the Hastings Observer.

With works about to start they have leafleted the businesses and homes closest.

I believe that ESCC have been thorough and professional.

Mr Mucci implies that HOTRA were the only folk aware.

Yet the High Street Traders Association have also been fully informed. It should be noted that several traders actually want these works done to help increase the ‘footfall’ of customers to their shops.

HOTRA delivers its own newsletter to all Old Town letterboxes three times a year.

The Parish News is delivered 10 times a year and always includes a HOTRA page.

Opposite the Jenny Lind is the HOTRA noticeboard, updated every month.

This is seven metres north of Mr Mucci’s original shop and five metres south of his second shop.

The HOTRA website also contains our monthly news.

Yes there will be four or five weeks of disruption for local motorists but the High Street will remain accessible to pedestrians at all times.

Sadly, the second stage of improvements at the junction with George Street has now been deferred to next winter.

To dismiss the concerns of many Old Town residents as ‘cosmetic surgery’ shows a sad lack of understanding of how this community works.

Dick Edwards



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