£2m boost for Uckfield High Street

Old station car park, Uckfield
Old station car park, Uckfield

Between £2m and £2.75m is to be spent improving Uckfield town centre, including a car park on the old station site.

The first stage of a package of measures includes improvements for pedestrians and enhancing the High Street, improving three traffic signal junctions along the High Street, upgrading the bus station and possibly new signals at the Tesco roundabout in Bell Lane.

These next steps for the town were agreed at an East Sussex County Council meeting on Monday by Cll Carl Maynard, Lead Member for Transport and Environment.

He decided the county should assist in providing a car park opposite the existing station, a move recently called a breakthrough in rail campaigners’ long battle to re-instate the line to Lewes and the coast.

Detailed plans will now be drawn up and consultation held with local people next year.

The council said in the longer term, it may be necessary for a second stage of additional town centre improvements once the first stage has been analysed.

Cllr Maynard said: “Everyone living or working in Uckfield knows the town centre already suffers from congestion, and with more housing being built, traffic will only increase.

“To keep Uckfield as a vibrant and flourishing town we need to take action now.

“We have been talking with people in Uckfield about the improvements to the town they would like to see to deal with the congestion and encourage a healthy local economy.

“We know that car parking is a priority and this is part of the first stage of these proposals.

“But they also included other areas for which people showed support, including improvements to the High Street and measures to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport.”

The planned improvements follow consultation with local people at an exhibition in March and online on four possible options.

When asked which option would address traffic congestion problems in Uckfield, people responded as follows: extra car parking - 51 per cent, Southern road - 37 per cent, Smarter Choices - 33 per cent, Northern road - 23 per cent.

Uckfield Chamber of Commerce reported last month Network Rail were moving to have the old station land transferred to them.