Eastbourne has become a minefield for wheelchair bound pedestrians

Queuing traffic in Seaside Road, Eastbourne (Pic by Jon Rigby)
Queuing traffic in Seaside Road, Eastbourne (Pic by Jon Rigby)

What’s happened to Eastbourne these days? The ongoing pedestrianisation of the town centre is a minefield if, like me, you are wheelchair bound.

The route between Hyde Gardens parking and Terminus Road is lethal, especially crossing off pavements onto roads, the cambers are horrendous and have been for years.

Last Sunday, I travelled from Berwick to Eastbourne with a child to go to the beach. Normally a 20 minute drive from home. Not this Sunday.

I arrived to find a large chunk of seafront closed for a cycling rally. More than that, having driven around the various diversion signs with a view to going to a beach further east, we determined it was unsuitable.

I said ‘let’s do Birling Gap, about eight miles out of town, via Beachy Head. I got to that turning, or rather near it and was greeted by gridlocked traffic with the road closed off to allow the cyclists to proceed on their route. I decided to head for Pevensey Bay. I swerved Eastbourne town centre via Victoria Drive, Hampden Park Crematorium, Pevesey and our destination Pevensey Bay.

So instead of 20 minutes in a gas-guzzling Range Rover, we drove or were stuck in traffic for 1 hour 40 minutes. We didn’t spend a ha’penny in Eastbourne on food etc.

The child watched all of The Greatest Showman on DVD in the car, so she was happy enough. Not sure the taxi drivers and traders in Eastbourne thought much of it – I certainly didn’t.

Gerry Hart

Station Road