Bexhill Alliance’s Marina concerns

In his letter last week Cllr Michael Ensor says that the only criticism made of the Marina scheme at ESCC’s planning committee by Bexhill Alliance was about the 20mph speed limit.

As a county councillor he will be aware that this was because that was the only part of the scheme that fell within the committee’s decision making powers.

It had no powers to deal with issues of design or details of the scheme that did not involve the traffic regulation order.

Although only one Bexhill Alliance member spoke at the meet they were supported by three other members.

Bexhill Alliance has in fact been in regular contact with ESCC officers before and since that meeting raising questions and concerns about the detailed design of the scheme and the materials to be used.

We have also kept Cllr Ensor and other district and county councillors aware of our concerns, especially where the scheme’s proposals have been contrary to previously agreed county and district policies.

We argued against the 20mph speed limit along a short length of Marina, Marina Court Avenue and Channel View West because both the Department of Transport (DfT) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) say that 20mph schemes should cover several roads rather than individual streets.

We therefore proposed that the scheme be refused pending public consultation on a 20mph scheme covering Marina and all the roads northward to the railway line between Sackville Road in the west and Sea Road in the east.

This would have made the entire town centre a 20mph zone. Such a scheme would have required only 16 speed limit signs, against the 18 currently being installed for the much more limited approved scheme.

Thus a wider scheme could have been introduced at little or no extra cost or effort to the work currently being carried out.

Following the planning committee’s decision we have carefully monitored the standard of the works being carried out and the materials used.

Sadly we have observed many items of concern, in fact far too many to detail them all in this letter.

However the principal ones are the use of tarmac instead of paving, the installation of bollards that do not conform to those that should be used in this conservation area and the placing of new signage in the middle, rather than the edge of pathways, causing unnecessary obstructions.

Of equal concern is the contractor’s complete disregard for public safety with pedestrians being forced to walk in the road and pavements so obstructed that it is impossible for wheelchair or mobility vehicles to use them.

Bexhill Alliance is proud to be a residents’ organisation working to improve the town and we will continue to monitor the scheme as it progresses and raise with council officers and councillors any issues that we consider are in need of review or improvement.

BRIAN COPE

Bexhill Alliance