Hailsham town improvement moves one step closer

David White, Jo Bentley, Roy Galley, Bill Bentley
David White, Jo Bentley, Roy Galley, Bill Bentley

A scheme to improve Hailsham town centre has moved another step closer to fruition after gaining approval from a senior councillor.

Cllr Carl Maynard, East Sussex County Council lead member for transport and environment, agreed the £600,000 project should progress to the detailed design stage at a meeting last week (September 15).

The decision means the work, which will include road layout improvements, changes to parking and a new pedestrian crossing, is on course to begin construction in the spring.

The scheme is being overseen by steering group MASHH (Movement and Access Study for Hailsham and Hellingly) consisting of representatives from Hailsham Town Council, Hellingly Parish Council, East Sussex County Council and Wealden District Council.

Cllr Jo Bentley, mayor of Hailsham and chairman of the steering group, said: “I am thrilled that we can now move on to the detailed design for these exciting town centre improvements.

“The four councils are continuing to work well together to bring to fruition a scheme which will have major benefits to residents, businesses and visitors to Hailsham.”

The town centre plans, which received a favourable response during a public consultation earlier this year, include widening pavements and installing new crossing points, with the aim of creating a safer, more attractive environment and encouraging more people to visit the town centre.

The proposals will involve introducing time limits for parking in High Street and George Street, a new zebra crossing in George Street and making Vicarage Lane and Vicarage Road a one-way route southbound. As a consequence some on-street parking spaces will be lost.

In the consultation earlier this year, proposed changes to the High Street and George Street were supported by 66 and 77 per cent of respondents respectively. 57 per cent supported on street parking changes and 65 per cent supported the one way plans.

The works on the High Street are part of a wider package of transport improvements in Hailsham and Hellingly, funded by development contributions associated with existing and proposed developments.

At last week’s meeting, Cllr Maynard also approved progressing to design work on these other improvements which will then be subject to public consultation.

Proposed longer-term improvements to key junctions around Hailsham include a new roundabout at the junction of the A22 and Hempstead Lane, improvements to the junction of Ersham Road and Diplocks Way and increasing the capacity of the Battle Road-London Road Junction.