Rother Alliance wants to free Bexhill town centre from the “tyranny of traffic”

The Rother Alliance has pledged to continue fighting for an overhaul of the town centre after pavement widening schemes were dropped.

The cross-party group of councillors is disappointed that plans to enlarge footways in Western Road and Devonshire Road have been rejected.

But it has reaffirmed its commitment to working with interested parties to improve the safety and wellbeing of all residents.

In a statement, it said pavement widening would have been a step towards freeing the town of the “tyranny of traffic” and helped social distancing.

“The Rother Alliance wants a town centre with clean air, without the pollution of congestion, beautified with trees and colourful floral displays, where people can relax and socialise without the background noise of traffic,” it stated.

The Alliance had actually wanted to see a strengthening of the original pavement widening proposals that were dropped by East Sussex County Council earlier this week.

Western Road in Bexhill

“We wanted to see Western Road made an Access Only Road and Devonshire Road made one way, with wider pavements and a segregated cycleway,” it added.

The footways had been earmarked for temporary enlargement as part of a Government drive to encourage walking and cycling.

The Alliance had hoped that a letter of support from MP Huw Merriman, and speech by Councillor Kathryn Field at the East Sussex County Council meeting on Monday (August 17th), would be enough to win the debate.

However, Councillor Claire Dowling, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for transport, agreed with officers’ recommendations to drop the idea, due to changes in Covid-19 advice and objections from businesses.

Councillor Christine Bayliss said: “It is disappointing to think that Bexhill might miss out on Government funding. Making shoppers feel they can shop safely is key to the recovery”.

Click here to read the full story behind the decision.

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