Reader's letter: The decline of Eastbourne, once a high class resort

From: Rodney King, Haslam Crescent, Bexhill-on-Sea

Terminus Road, Eastbourne
Terminus Road, Eastbourne

I have been a regular weekly visitor to Eastbourne for the past twenty years except, of course, during lockdown.

It is shameful how the town has deteriorated during that time, particularly regarding its discrimination against older people travelling by bus from Bexhill and Hastings.

Inbound passengers on the more frequent Stagecoach 99 service are no longer able to alight at the eastern end of Trinity Trees due to a highway closure at the bottom of Terminus Road in favour of artificial grass, tables and chairs outside a number of what must be struggling restaurants.

Using the nearest alternative stop at the pier, not only involves an additional quarter of a mile walk but also great difficulty in traversing the busy Grand Parade without any convenient light controlled crossings.

Unbelievably, the temporary crossing set up outside the Queens Hotel is in the opposite direction!

Coming home isn’t much fun, either, with 99 buses leaving from Cornfield Road and 98 services from Gildridge Road, nearly 200 yards apart and involving crossing two roads.

Whilst both buses arrive in the opposite streets, passengers are not allowed to board at those locations! It was so much better before pedestrianisation when 98s and 99s stopped on opposite sides of the same road outside C&H Fabrics.

Eastbourne itself now leaves much to be desired with what can only be described as a “deep crater bomb site” remaining from the Claremont Hotel fire in 2020 and two very large empty retail buildings left by closure of Debenhams and TJ Hughes.

A row of market-style huts along the promenade doesn’t help the image of what was always such a high class resort.