THE owners of the Rosy Lee Cafe on Seaside are one of many businesses worried by plans for new bus lanes.

Yesterday, the plans were put on hold. Here is the cafe’s reaction:

A huge, big thank you to everyone who took part in our March and Demonstration in Lewes this morning, on our way to ESCC County Hall Offices to listen to the verdict from the consultation period on the Bus Service Improvement Plan for Seaside, Eastbourne.

Our thanks also go out to all those supporting our efforts who were unable to attend in person but were with us in spirit.

We have gained radio coverage as well as local press and even been asked for video of the demonstration to potentially be part of local BBC Sussex TV news.

Claire Dowling (Chair & decision maker of the committee) took into consideration all the negative comments surrounding the scheme (amounting to around 80% of respondents) as well as some ‘misguided’ councillors saying that they were for the scheme but followed her own planners’ recommendations to take the scheme back to the drawing board for it to be redesigned and thought through.

We were told that the next scheme will include input from residents and businesses in Seaside, who have already come up with a credible plan to increase the efficiency of the busses and at a much lower cost to the taxpayer, whilst retaining most of the current parking.

This doesn’t mean that this is the end of our fight however, to redesign the plan, hold a consultation period (to then decide as to whether to take it to the next stage or not), will take some considerable time, effort and money.

ESCC have until the end of March 2024 to deliver the scheme or will have to ask for an extension from the Department of Transport, but with this being an election year – is an extension to spend the money likely to be granted? we feel probably not.

However, if it is, we will all have our say and may well find ways of delaying the scheme in a similar way as we have just demonstrated.

So again, we thank all the people who signed our petition, all those who stuck up posters in their windows in Seaside, all the messages of support and all the businesses who have helped us fight to retain our parking for residents, the disabled, the elderly, for local independent businesses and for our customers.

We haven’t delivered the knock-out punch, but we have won the first round – so thank you one and all.