Hastings Coastguard Station blocked by cars as busy bank holiday weekend creates traffic chaos in Old Town

Hastings Coastguard service has said there were problems getting access to and from their shoreline station in Hastings Old Town over the weekend due to the huge number of vehicles trying to use the main car park at the end of Rock-a-Nore Road.
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A Coastguard spokesperson said: “The team were very busy over the bank holiday weekend. While we recognise that it is not everyone’s fault, due to the high volume of traffic on Rock-a-Nore Road, access to our station was very limited at times.

“On Sunday it was reported that cars had been stuck in gridlock conditions in the car park for a very long time, blocking access to and from our station. On Monday, Coastguards responding to an emergency call had to park their car some distance from the station and proceed on foot, due to the high volume of traffic blocking access and had to use an alternate route from the station.

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"If you are visiting the car park, we would ask, at the very least, that you do not park across the entrance to our station."

Queuing cars blocking access to the Coastguard StationQueuing cars blocking access to the Coastguard Station
Queuing cars blocking access to the Coastguard Station

One local resident said the problem was made worse by motorists ignoring a ‘car park full’ sign at the entrance to Rock-a-Nore Road. Others called on Hastings Borough Council to introduce a park and ride scheme.

There were also calls for the traffic lights, controlling the junction of Rock-a-Nore Road with the main A259 seafront road to be adjusted as they only let three or four cars out at a time, causing gridlock along Rock-a-Nore Road and in the car park at busy times.

The situation is not new. In 2018 The Observer reported than hundreds of cars were stuck in the car park for more than two hours on a bank holiday weekend. Mother of three Lucy Taylor, of Coombe Shore, Ninfield, was affected at the time and said: "There was nobody there to marshal the cars, it was just utter chaos. People were getting quite irate with each other and rightly so. It was the journey from hell.

Traffic gridlock in the car parkTraffic gridlock in the car park
Traffic gridlock in the car park
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"“The car park just needs better organisation. It needs marshals there taking the initiative to get the traffic flowing and possibly another entrance.”

In April 2017, hundreds of holiday makers were stuck for up to three and a half hours as they tried to leave the Rock-a-Nore Road car park. At the time, East Sussex County Council said tailbacks were caused because motorists on the A259 were given priority at the traffic lights at the junction with Rock-a-Nore Road.