Lewes Forum thread

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Lewes Forum New message

personal experience of the Bill problem

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On 30 May 2014 at 5:19pm upset wrote:
Argos management say they can do nothing since it is public access. They can see how it can hinder their business by potential customers being reluctant to use the road due to the obstructing people, tables and chairs. They could also see the potential dangers. They wonder if the Council has given Bills permission - and thought it might be worth Argos giving the council a ring. They suggested that I should ring too. The management is fairly new so it is not something they have got round to yet.
Highways shut at 4.30 on a Friday so contacting them will have to wait until another day!
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On 30 May 2014 at 7:14pm ShareTheStreets wrote:
While i sympathise, a few of the comments show that people really dont understand the shared space idea at cliffe. Firstly, the idea is to get rid of the distinction between pavement and highway. Cars do not have automatic right of way along he centre of the road, and pedestrians are allowed to walk down the middle of what you consider to be the 'highway' if they so choose. Cars should go slowly through thr area and should not expect to speed through unimpeded. Ideally they should progress at around walking pace giving priority to pedestrians.
As to cafe seating and tables on the 'pavement' (i use quotes because in shared spaces there should be no real distinction between pavement and road) in shared spaces this is encouraged as pedestrians can move freely into the 'road' as cars moving in that area should be driving slowly with complete alertness as to pedestrian movements
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On 31 May 2014 at 8:00am xplorer1 wrote:
ShareTheStreets, that's absolutely correct but, no one has the right to block a highway, and no one should be driving through Cliffe High St unless they either:
1) legitimately need access (e.g. to Harvey's yard to pick up beer or to make a delivery) or
2) live in the street, or Morris Rd etc
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On 31 May 2014 at 8:13am Southover Queen wrote:
Exactly, xplorer1. Cliffe High St is pedestrianised - the signs make that quite clear. So you can drive down it if you need to make or collect a delivery (which presumably includes Argos) or you are a resident. (I also don't think that would include Morris Rd, which has access via the non-pedestrianised section at the bottom). There should be NO traffic otherwise. So while I applaud the thinking behind Sharethestreets' post, the fact is that it doesn't apply. The fact is that if everyone using the street didn't feel that at any moment a car/taxi/van might come barrelling down we'd be using the whole roadway rather than only using the pavements, and then it wouldn't matter particularly if occasionally the cafes used part of the pavement for tables and chairs. It's the vehicles - whether moving or parked - that mess up the street, not the cafes. (That said, clearly blocking the legitimate access road to the riverside area is a bad idea)

To my knowledge, the police have cracked down on drivers once: it's quite obviously not enough because everyone seems to carry on regardless.
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On 31 May 2014 at 11:27am Decent Citizen wrote:
Yesterday I stood talking to a friend outside charity shop next to Bills.There was already a van,a car parked half off half on the pavement.We were astonished to observe a man drive up,park half on pavement,lock car and disappear up over bridge towards Boots etc.We were hoping to see a traffic warden but,no such luck.We were there nattering as you do)for a good ten minutes or more.Said man duly arrives calmly gets into car and drive off.Pedestian precinct?I don"t think so ,do you?
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On 31 May 2014 at 1:32pm Southover Queen wrote:
It's particularly galling when the wardens are busy round the corner booking anyone whose ticket overruns by a couple of minutes.

How about it, ESCC? Ask the wardens to patrol that area with as much vigilance as they do areas where motorists are not causing an obstruction in a pedestrianised area? And maybe the police could do random raids on vehicles driving down Cliffe High St on a regular basis, not just once in a very blue moon?
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On 31 May 2014 at 6:17pm trooper wrote:
Well Well I see we are all back again. I went to have my lunch in JHT today and as I rounded the Argos corner a 4x4 drove down Bear Lane and a small child sitting with family at Bills tables ran in front of the vehicle, it was only by the swift re action of the driver that a nasty accident was avoided.Needless to say there was no re action from the management of Bills. I have posted before that it is significant that no comment( given the hostile comments), is forthcoming from them, but I presume like all ABSENT owners they will remain silent and hope that the peasants will go away. I doubt very much that the owners of Bills even know where Lewes is, it will be just another number on their property portfolio. So do not expect change LDC do not care the ward member the same.I have said before people please take care.
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On 1 Jun 2014 at 7:33am GhostBike wrote:
Were the table in the roadway? If not, then they're within the rules as far as I can see. A child could run into the road at any point along Cliffe high street. Cars should be going dead slow and expecting that sorthe of thing to happen.

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On 1 Jun 2014 at 8:40am upset wrote:
The chairs had to be moved in order for me to pass - moved reluctantly - and the waiter had to move himself!
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On 2 Jun 2014 at 8:24am Local Trader wrote:
I completely admire Bills & Cliffe is a more vibrant & successful area as a result. However those tables & chairs on the side which were 2 seater, i.e. Just on the pavement are now 4 seaters, half on & half off the road. It's ridiculous now & only a matter of time before something unpleasant occurs.
Bills has every right to make as much use as legally possible of their space but not at the expense of customer safety.
I drove in to the Argos car park yesterday to collect heavy items & it is dodgy to say the least. The disgruntled looks & impatient waiters & waitresses make you feel you've done something wrong.
Personally I feel common sense has to prevail here soon & not after an incident.
Why anyone would want to sit in a road eating with cars inches from their heads is beyond me, not exactly my idea of relaxed dining but hey
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On 2 Jun 2014 at 10:27am Merlin Milner wrote:
I have written to LDC about this. Will let you know the feedback.
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On 2 Jun 2014 at 12:07pm upset wrote:
Thank you Merlin. I spoke to Highways this morning and they are going to send round an enforcement officer. They were unsure whether permission had been granted or not but did say that the chairs and waiters should not form an obstruction. They understood the concern about danger.
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On 2 Jun 2014 at 12:52pm Clifford wrote:
Upset, it's interesting to see they were'unsure whether permission had been granted or not'. When I raised this with them a few years ago they said an officer had given 'informal' permission and when i asked for evidence they said the officer no longer worked there and there was nothing in writing. To which the obvious question was 'How do you know permission was given then?' This is obviously a 'personal favour' situation and the sooner it's remedied the better.
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On 2 Jun 2014 at 4:37pm trooper wrote:
Oh Goody this gets better every day. On Saturday PM there was a group of people sitting at Bills outside tables in the lane numbering nine, I leave you all to imagine where most of them were seated.
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On 2 Jun 2014 at 4:43pm I don't live in lewes... wrote:
BLIMEY!... is this old chestnut still running.
PhilX
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On 2 Jun 2014 at 7:50pm The Tooth Fairy wrote:
Indeed Philip, it would appear that our North Face clad newcomer friends can't get enough over price, under sized lunches
Sitting in gutter seems to appeal.
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On 3 Jun 2014 at 2:05pm I dont live in lewes... wrote:
That's a bit of a harsh view TF. Maybe some view it as Rive Gauche/ left bank of the Seine (well...Ouse) very trendy to the intellectual set, a hip place to be and be seen. Coolio.
An oasis to sip coffee with like mind and to channel philosophical energies... while simultaneously being a pain in the erse to the unwashed.
Another amenity Seaford lacks.
Halleluja.
PhilX
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On 3 Jun 2014 at 4:07pm really? wrote:
Why anyone is taking this nonsense from our incresaingly questionable Highways Department is beyond me. It is very straight forward, either permission has been granted or not, and it would require documentation in paperwork. It is not in the gift of a now disappeared Highways Officer to gift a legal right to use someone else's land as a commercial retail space. If the Council want to sell or rent it to Bill's, that is fine, do the legwork and formalise it, following a consultation with those of us who would like to be able to use our pavements as pavements. And if Bill's is to be allowed to take over a pedestrian route, then allow all shops to overtake any bit of pavement they fancy as well, so that all business rate payers are not being discriminated against. Why members of the public are still having to moan about this is simply a reflection of the ineptitude of both Officers and Councillors to manage the simplest of problems.
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On 3 Jun 2014 at 5:24pm Road user wrote:
just a little point for you 'share the streets' . Nothing is being 'shared' if one of the 'sharers' completely takes over a free space, by dumping static tables and customers in it to the exclusion of everyone else. It becomes only the space of the person with the tables. Being forced to 'share' what 'space' is left with vehicles, rather than use the 'shared' space that vehicles are definitely not allowed to use, is not 'sharing' anything.
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On 4 Jun 2014 at 1:18pm GhostBike wrote:
God knows how you lot cope when you cross the channel. You must be in apoplexy because all over french , belgian or dutch towns there are scenes like the one outside Bills. You must also be in a constant state of amazement that people aren't mown down in the street or up in arms about the tables blocking the road.
or perhaps you've never left England. Or Lewes for that matter.
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On 4 Jun 2014 at 2:59pm Ghost pedestrian wrote:
The French attitude to vehicle safety could explain why it has significantly higher fatality rate per 100,000, and per cars driven in comparison with the UK. Perhaps this is where Bills gets its inspiration from?
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On 4 Jun 2014 at 2:59pm Badger wrote:
I think you might have missed the point, Ghostbike.
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On 4 Jun 2014 at 4:02pm trooper wrote:
GhostBike, What an interesting comment I have to assume that you spend much time across the channel in order to have the knowledge you have about the cafe culture in the continental countries.I hold citizenship of both France and England and spend much time there.The whole system is different than this country, cafe culture is part of life and the local authorities factor this into their planning and town layouts,we do not, we just shove some tables and chairs outside the establishment without any thought as to how it will affect the passing pedestrians or the traffic.Yes we have regulations,more honoured in the breach rather than the observance. Really? a very good posting.
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On 4 Jun 2014 at 4:38pm Born here ok wrote:
Why people want to sit outside, in the gutter, opposite Argos with car fumes wafting over their highly priced artisan sandwich is beyond me. But I'm just a normal working class scumbag.
 
 
On 4 Jun 2014 at 5:28pm GhostBike wrote:
Ghost pedestrian - interesting comment, interesting name. French traffic accident rates are higher, indeed - for drivers. For pedestrians, though, they are lower. The UK actually has one of the highest pedestrian death rates from vehicle accidents in Europe.
if you look back at the Living Cliffe document (which received 89% public approval apparently) it talks about 'pavements' and the 'central shared space'. As far as I am concerned cafes should not be putting chairs and tables in the central shared space. But as far as I can gather it is perfectly within the spirit of this and other planning documents to put chairs and tables on the 'pavement' as pedestrians simply move into the 'shared space' to go around them. The idea was that there should be an extremely limited number of vehicles going very slowly. There is a document from 2010 reviewing the Living Cliffe scheme which I've linked to below. It says:
"A particularly high proportion of respondents to the survey like the appearance and atmosphere of Cliffe High Street with some 80% finding the street better and more pedestrian friendly than it used to be before the changes....The creation of the pleasant café culture environment in Cliffe High Street has resulted in increasing use of tables and chairs on the footway. These create obstructions for visually impaired people and so their use has been controlled by the introduction of a licensing arrangement aimed at providing consistency in the location and layout of café furniture."
If you look at tripadvisor for Cliffe High Street youll notice that many visitors/tourists in Lewes like the outside seating in Cliffe and mention it as an attractive feature of the town.

Check it out here »
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On 4 Jun 2014 at 5:35pm GhostBike wrote:
What I am trying to say is - look, the seating needs to be controlled and shouldn't be too much of an obstruction, and certainly not in the middle of the central shared space. But some people on this thread/forum seem to object to outside seating in principle, sometimes on the basis that it is all for middle class DFL types and is an offense to their true born Lewesian principles.
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On 4 Jun 2014 at 6:01pm Statto wrote:
Ghost Pedestrian
Pedestrian death rates per 1,000 population
Netherlands 0.40
Sweden 0.61
Germany 0.86
France 0.88
UK 1.15
Child pedestrian deaths per 1,000
Netherlands 0.20
France 0.20
Germany 0.33
Spain 0.42
Portugal 0.49
UK 0.62
Stats in the Appendix 3 of the attached.

Check it out here »
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On 5 Jun 2014 at 12:53am ghost statistics wrote:
those figures are for 2009
 
 
On 16 Jul 2015 at 3:54pm Royal wrote:
Why anyone is taking this nonsense from our incresaingly questionable Highways Department is beyond me. It is very straight forward, either permission has been granted or not, and it would require documentation in paperwork. It is not in the gift of a now disappeared Highways Officer to gift a legal right to use someone else's land as a commercial retail space. If the Council want to sell or rent it to Bill's, that is fine, do the legwork and formalise it, following a consultation with those of us who would like to be able to use our pavements as pavements. And if Bill's is to be allowed to take over a pedestrian route, then allow all shops to overtake any bit of pavement they fancy as well, so that all business rate payers are not being discriminated against. Why members of the public are still having to moan about this is simply a reflection of the ineptitude of both Officers and Councillors to manage the simplest of problems.

Check it out here »


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