IT’S BUSINESS as usual for shops and offices in Uckfield where last weekend’s fire wrecked ancient High Street buildings. Traders fear shoppers cross the road when they see pavement diversions and fail to call into their usual shops in Olives Yard.
Mel Thorpe from double glazing experts Crystal Vision told the Express: “The fire had a knock on effect. When the road was cordoned off people thought the access was shut so they went elsewhere to shop. All of us here are hurting a bit and we want to say we’re here and open for business. It was an awful week but we’re hoping the High Street and pavements will be open again soon.” Firms affected include Swindells where people can still drop off mail but staff are working from Seaford; pet shop Paws and Claws, hairdressers Bliss and smart cafe The Hop Barn.
Uckfield Chamber of Commerce receives regular updates on High Street work from Wealden District Council. It’s hoped traffic lights and a pavement diversion will go by the weekend. Planning head Kelvin Williams met Mark Arno of Carvills who said the High Street must be opened as soon as possible. An advertising board will go up promoting Olives Yard.