Residents react to Hastings EU-funded ‘mini-tram’ scheme

Could we soon see a mini-tram on Hastings seafront?
Could we soon see a mini-tram on Hastings seafront?

A plan to run a mini-tram along Hastings seafront has received mixed reactions since the news broke this week.

At a meeting yesterday (Monday, February 4) Hastings Borough Council said it was looking at running a ‘mini-tram’ from one end of the seafront to the other after winning European project funding.

You can read the full story about the mini-tram plan and the EU funding here.

Now residents have taken to social media to discuss the pros and cons of such an idea, torn between viewing it as a great tourist attraction and criticising the idea.

Hana Louise Lambourne wrote on the Hastings Observer Facebook page: “Yes, I believe it would bring many people into the town,” while Lucy Pappas wrote: “I’d love a little road train along the seafront. I think it would be well-used at the right price.”

In a similar vein James Turner wrote: “Personally I think it’s a fantastic idea. Maybe the council could look at making them self driving, which I’m sure would be easy along a mainly straight line along the seafront. Could also make it free, perhaps sell advertising space for local businesses.”

However, John Coleman expressed his doubt that it would ever happen and Micky White likewise wrote: “People have been talking about a tram or return of the train for years and nothing’s happened.”

Some Observer readers questioned if there was room for it along the promenade and whether it could instead run on the road.

Roy Trunchion wrote: “There is enough trouble and bad feeling between the cyclists and pedestrians as well as dog walkers. I think this will just cause more bad feeling and arguments.”

While Richard Lavender wrote: “Remember the short lived land train that used to run along the prom. Caused chaos on the narrow bits and loads of problems due to rights of way etc. And that was before the shared cycle lane at the eastern end. Would be ok if it ran in the road I suppose but then again that gets busy enough in the summer.”

Despite the £159,463 project being funded by the Interreg Europe – a scheme funded by the European Union and European Regional Development Fund – some frustrated readers have asked why the ring-fenced money cannot be used to help improve the town in other ways.

Dan Gain wrote on the Hastings Observer Facebook page: “I know let’s waste money on a bloody tram rather than tackle real problems within our town great stuff.”

Mick Wickwar raised a concern that it would not be sustainable or profitable while Debbie Ramsey suggested the council look at how Merthyr Tydfil in Wales had regenerated itself and follow its lead.

Finishing on a positive note, Steve Mcghin wrote: “As usual people moaning and whining about an idea to try and make Hastings even better than it is already.

“Hastings is a lively vibrant amazing place to live yes it has its problems but so do a lot of other towns but we are better than that so let’s get behind anything that is going to bring more people more money and more jobs to this fantastic place. I Love Hastings.”

You can join in with the discussion by visiting the Hastings Observer Facebook Page here.

Please note we have used quotes from readers as they were written on our Facebook page and have not altered punctuation or spelling.

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