Park and ride may be the answer in Uckfield

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What a topsy turvy world we live in, on one hand we have the government communities secretary Eric Pickles recommending that motorists should be allowed to park on double yellow lines for short periods to shop as high parking fees and fines are killing off high street shops. On the other hand we have East Sussex County Council Highways and Uckfield Town Council putting forward proposals to remove free short term parking in Uckfield High Street and paving over about 50 parking spaces with the exception of a few bays for delivery vehicles and disabled drivers, so any motorists wishing to pop into the bank, newsagents, post office, takeaway or other shops will need to park in Luxford or Bell Walk car parks which are usually full by mid morning.

We are to get a new station car park by the end of 2014, with Network rail operating the car park. It will not be free. If parking fees are too high, commuters will continue to park in residential side roads and the industrial estate.

If a survey of residents living in Manor Park, West Park, Harlands, Ridgewood and Fenley Park was taken, most would say they drive into town due to the steep hills and distances involved.

Wealden district councillors in their wisdom voted for 1,000 houses to be built south west of Uckfield with interlinking foot and cycle paths off the development with the impression that residents will use them.

Some of the houses to be built could be between one and two miles from the town centre. One thousand houses will relate to at least 1,500 cars, most of them using the inadequate bypass and the town car parks.

Uckfield will become gridlocked, any accident on the bypass will bring the whole area to a standstill.

Maybe in the future the answer will be parking in Uckfield on alternate days or park and ride.

Mel Sanders

Uckfield