Our family have been attending the East Hoathly Bonfire celebrations for very many years and have always thoroughly enjoyed the event.
The village works very hard to put on such a good show with a lovely atmosphere and the occasion raises a lot of money for charity.
This year the occasion was spoilt totally by the difficulty in parking.
Until this year there was ample parking along the A22 and everyone who attends knows that’s where they can park safely, until this year. For some reason, and I was told it was East Sussex County Council who made the decision, no parking was allowed the southern side of the East Hoathly junction down to the Thatch Garage. There were small signs indicating your car would get towed away.
Now, as you can imagine this caused a lot of unnecessary chaos because no one knew where to park! So, drivers were differing as to what to do and the Police were waving their arms like crazy to get the traffic moving. This caused people to park their cars down from the East Hoathly roundabout to the Halland roundabout on a road which has bends in it and created more chaos down that end.
Also cars were parked down the narrow lane by the Thatch Garage which heads out to Laughton.
What about if the emergency vehicles had to get down there. I don’t think they could have managed it!
I consider that the decision to disallow parking caused chaos and was dangerous and irresponsible decision.
People attending the event had to park nearly a mile away and then had to walk along a dark road where the speed limit is 60 although on that night there was a 30 sign at each end.
These signs were so small and unlit I doubt whether any drivers saw them anyway.
There were many families out, walking along that road holding their children’s hands or pushing buggies.
When parking was allowed on that road, the cars created a “safe haven” for pedestrians and, any drivers not knowing something was going on saw the cars and slowed right down.
On last Saturday night there was no reason for the vehicles to slow down so there you had people walking in the road while vehicles were passing at what could have been 60mph!
Now was that a safe and correct decision not to allow parking along that road?
Common sense for next year please and allow the parking on the edge of the road or there could be a very nasty accident waiting to happen.