Hurst traders condemn High Street plan as ‘disgraceful waste of money’

High Street Traders in Hurstpierpoint (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150206-180226008
High Street Traders in Hurstpierpoint (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150206-180226008

Traders have condemned a council High Street improvement scheme as ‘catastrophic’ and ‘a disgraceful waste of public money’.

Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common Parish Council will undertake a £150,000 scheme which will close the High Street for up to four weeks in August.

The scheme will create parking restrictions in a bid to improve pedestrian safety.

But the High Street Traders Association has said the plan was a ‘disgraceful waste of public money’.

Simon Banham, owner of Fat Fish, in the High Street, said: “[The plan] will be catastrophic to the businesses in the High Street and entirely undermines the Neighbourhood Plan.”

He said it failed to take into account the priority for permanent additional short term parking to the east end of the High Street.

The association has also said no proper traffic survey was conducted and ‘insufficient consideration’ was taken into the high number of daily lorry deliveries.

Mr Banham added that members believe the council’s plan to add additional pinch points in the High Street ‘will actually cause the very gridlock to through traffic that the plan seeks to obviate’.

Allan Brown, vice chairman of the parish council, said the project had been paid for through contributions by a developer, hadbeen approved by county council and was a ‘direct result to surveys and questionnaires completed by the residents of Hurstpierpoint over several years’.

He said: “As a response to these inputs, the parish council undertook a detailed review of the problem areas and engaged experienced and professional road traffic experts to advise on possible improvements.”

He added that ‘at all stages of the process the residents and traders were invited to make comments and changes were made to reflect these inputs.

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