Drivers putting lives at risk in Hastings Old Town pedestrian area

Drivers are continuing to put people at risk by using the narrow Courthouse Street pedestrian area as a rat-run to get to the main A259
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And people who have challenged drivers have been met with verbal abuse and angry gestures. The issue has already been raised by Sussex Police who took enforcement action last year, issuing seven tickets and seizing one vehicle. But the situation is still as bad say traders and residents.

Harris Woodcock raised the issue again recently and said: “A sign saying ‘Pedestrian Zone – no vehicles’ stands tall and proud at the High Street end of Courthouse Street. Unfortunately nobody pays a bit of notice to it and drivers continue to use it as a rat-run, sometimes at great speed. Please stop doing this as you are endangering the lives of visitors and traders.”

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A police spokesperson said: “Vehicles using Courthouse Street as a shortcut are not only breaking the law, but they are also putting pedestrians lives at risk. We would remind motorists that Courthouse Street is pedestrian only and we will continue to prosecute anyone seen driving there.

Pedestrian sign at Courthouse StreetPedestrian sign at Courthouse Street
Pedestrian sign at Courthouse Street

"An alternative route is to continue up the High Street or take Roebuck Street to re-join the A259.”

One local woman said: “I confronted a car load of young men driving down Courthouse Street recently and pointed out that it is pedestrian only and they just shouted at me and made rude signs.”

Vehicles are also causing problems in pedestrianised areas of Hastings Town Centre. Bollards in Queens Road were repaired in a bid to prevent the situation but people on foot are still coming face to face with vans, and fast food delivery vehicles at busy times during the day.

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Cllr Judy Rogers has been working to address the issue. Earlier this year, at a cabinet meeting, she updated councillors on plans to replace the retractable bollards at the end of Queens Road with gates.

Police stopping a vehicle in Courthouse StreetPolice stopping a vehicle in Courthouse Street
Police stopping a vehicle in Courthouse Street

She said the gates would be closed between 10am and 4pm each day, blocking traffic from entering the pedestrianised area, but allowing deliveries outside those times.

Cllr Rogers said: “We want people to be able to walk and feel safe walking through the town centre and it will make it look so much better and also protect, until the town deal project comes into being, what is left of our paving system.”