Public inquiry into East Street road closure

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A public inquiry has been called into the controversial decision to close East Street and Market Square to daytime traffic.

West Sussex County Council plans to make two experimental orders into permanent ones.

The orders:

- Prohibit waiting, loading and unloading in East Street between 10.30am and 4.30pm.

- Relocate the loading bays in East Street.

- Ban vehicles from East Street and Market Square between 10.30am and 4.30pm. At other times, motor vehicles can drive north-west along East Street, but only for loading or unloading, or to allow disabled access.

- Move the blue badge parking spaces from East Street to the Carfax.

The orders are part of an ongoing plan to make East Street more pedestrian friendly.

A survey of East Street traders, carried out last year, suggested that the majority of local businesses supported the traffic orders.

However, the restriction on loading and unloading times were criticised by the owners of several shops along East Street.

Gareth Jones of Beer Essentials off licence said the changes seriously threatened the future of his business.

Restrictions on loading times would, he said, make it difficult for him to take deliveries.

A notice from the county council said it had received objections and letters of support concerning the orders.

The public inquiry will be held at 10am on Tuesday June 18, at the district council offices in Park North.

Written representations can be sent to Tony Kershaw, Head of Law and Governance, at West Sussex County Council, County Hall, Chichester, quoting reference GAR/CC3/6862