Bespoke welcome the opportunity to comment on the proposed cycle routes within Eastbourne. We want to encourage cycling and we accept that improvements to cycle infrastructure are an endorsement, by the Council, of this aim.
Before we comment on each route we wanted to provide some helpful comments on the overall process for this and future reviews.
- For each route it would be useful where more than one option was examined that some details of these other options are provided along with the reasons for their rejection. This might be cost, practicality, access to land, pedestrian densities at peak times or safety. It became apparent at the Town Hall consultation that residents would be submitting alternative routes to you but they are unaware that you have already examined them.
- There are a number of organisations that provide standards for building cycle routes. These include Department for Transport, Transport for London and Sustrans. By adopting at least one of these, and stating it in the review, then certain minimum levels can be expected and also research guidance becomes available. So for example, cycle lanes on large roundabouts are generally not considered good design (Ref 1, 2). Where they are being proposed there should be a reason provided in the documentation.
- The Department of Transport classifies cyclists into 4 categories :
- fast commuter
- utility cyclist
- inexperienced and/or leisure cyclist
This also suggests what type of solution is suitable for each (Ref 3). With this in mind we would like for each route to identify the type of cyclists it is intended to support. DfT state that children “require segregated, direct largely off-road routes from residential areas to schools” whereas utility cyclists would manage with “some segregation” such as the Advisory Cycle Lanes that are being proposed. We are pleased to see that in the new draft Hastings Walking and Cycling Strategy, ESCC and Hastings Borough agree to adopt the DfT guidance and standards. This is excellent. DfT standards include continuing cycle lanes across side streets, not having short sections of Advisory Cycle Lanes, etc.
- We were delighted to help ESCC with the original bid for LSTF funding, and we agreed which 4 links were the priority for new cycle routes. As part of Cycle East Sussex, we encourage as much collaboration as possible at all stages between ESCC and local cycling groups when new infrastructure is planned. We understand the pressure of time and that LSTF money has to be spent by March 2015, so there are limits on what can be achieved in this time. We are keen to be involved in future bids for funding and building development in Eastbourne around which cycle routes could be planned.
Bespoke position on the routes consulted on:
- We presented a petition in 2011 with over 3000 signatures requesting better facilities for cycling in Eastbourne and a seafront cycle route. The current lack of cycling on the seafront is the commonest thing that non-cyclists ask us about.
- The plans include some excellent features, such as Advanced Stop Lines at some signalised junctions. These improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
- All routes need good signage.
- The plans include two roundabouts with proposed integral cycle lanes, at the memorial roundabout and the Eastbourne station roundabout. Our view is that these may be more dangerous for cyclists with planned cycle lanes.
Summary of Bespoke’s response:
|No||Route||Bespoke rating (5 stars = excellent)||Comments|
|1||University (Meads) to town and seafront||**||This route involves signage and is very cheap. The level of infrastructure proposed may not be sufficient to encourage further uptake of cycling. The junction between Carlisle Road and Meads Road is currently very dangerous, and this section may need more than just new markings. The novel cycle lane on the roundabout near the station may be dangerous.|
|2||Town centre to Seafront||*||It may be better to wait for a better route along Terminus Road. The plan for a cycle lane on memorial roundabout may be dangerous. Devonshire Place may contain too many parked cars to be a good cycle route.|
|3||Seafront||****||The seafront has always been the no. 1 priority for Bespoke. This route will work for the groups likely to use it: commuters and for fitness most of the time; children or recreational users on sunny days when the promenade is busy with other users. These groups will share nicely. It will not be suitable for high speed cycling but is not intended for this. Some extra consideration needs to occur around the 4 pinch points between the Pier and the Redoubt. The byelaw may not be an issue.|
|4||Town centre to Hospital||***||Removing parking will improve this as a commuter route on King’s Drive, which is very busy. We suggest semi-segregation to make this safer. The link to the railway station could be tidier.|
|5||Horsey way section 1 – Railway station to Ringwood Road||***||Half of this (dual flow on the pavement in Ashford Road) could work well. The further half is very awkward for cyclists, and we have made other suggestions to use a route with less traffic.|
|6||Horsey way Section 3 – Lottbridge Drove to Langney roundabout||*****||Looks great! Genuine off-road route linking several schools.|
Weblink for the consultation, including maps: https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/eastbourne-cycling-improvements
Re: Provision for cyclists on roundabouts:
We are concerned to see proposals for painted cycle lanes on the two busy roundabouts in the town centre. The DfT Cycle Infrastructure Design guidance states ‘Cycle lanes on roundabouts must be very carefully considered. There is little evidence to suggest that they offer any safety benefit to cyclists, and they may introduce additional hazards. Some cycle lanes on roundabouts have been removed because they led to a deterioration in the accident rate’. This is particularly known to be the case where roundabouts have 2-lane entries. Department for Transport has specific guidance summarising features that make roundabouts safer for cyclists, including single lane entry (Ref 2)
Having two major roundabouts in Eastbourne changed in a way that might make them less safe may spoil how the acceptable the whole cycle network design appears.
Bespoke detailed response about each route:
Route 1: University (Meads) to town and seafront
1. There are a number of students who might use this route
2. Please note that there are a number of schools on this route as well
3. We love the Advanced Stop Lane on Upperton Road (by the Avenue). This is really good. It allows the cyclists to be ahead of the traffic at junctions (where most injuries occur). Can we have more of these?
4. We are very concerned about cycle lanes on the roundabout by the railway station, which we understand have been removed from roundabouts in other towns.
5. Bespoke do not feel the level of infrastructure proposed would be sufficient to encourage further uptake of cycling. This is largely because it consists of little more than signage on routes that existing cyclists would already use
6. We worry about cyclists using Old Orchard Road, by the library – with large numbers of taxis turning at the junction with Arlington Road. It may be useful to move the taxis elsewhere.
7. Our preferred option would be using Grove Road in both directions, with a contraflow cycle lane for returning cyclists.
8. The Carlisle Road – to Meads Road junction is already dangerous. Road markings may be insufficient to be safe. It may also need some traffic calming.
9. This is a fairly cheap route.
10. We should be supportive of a route here if it was properly done
11. More signs would be needed to reinforce this as a route
Route 2: Town centre to Seafront
12. We are very concerned about cycle lanes on the memorial roundabout, which we understand have been removed from roundabouts in other towns.
13. We also are concerned about using Devonshire Place which has parking down both sides and in the centre. This leaves cyclists vulnerable to doors being opened and cars moving, which can lead to collisions or late swerving manoeuvres to avoid the opening door. This might be better if the cycle lanes were inside the rows of parked cars, as is seen in Copenhagen and elsewhere (Ref 4, Ref 5)
14. We welcome cyclists being allowed on the first part of Terminus Road, but would request that cyclists can continue down Terminus road to the Seafront. If the station end of Terminus Road really is to be a “shared space”, why not extend that concept through to the seafront? This is by far the superior route for locals and visitors.
15. We would prefer a route down Terminus Road. We realise that the funding for this is attached to the Arndale centre redevelopment. We want to state again that the current plan for Terminus Road includes the same number of buses using this road, so cyclists may be squeezed out.
Route 3: Seafront
16. A continuous cycle route along the seafront has always been a top priority for Bespoke. We have consulted and researched widely on this issue.
17. Our understanding of the byelaws is that they are not difficult to change (see below). All that is needed is the erection of signs allowing cycling.
18. There has been a long debate about the benefits and risks of segregation and cyclists sharing space (Ref 6). The activity on the promenade varies massively by time, season and sunniness. The cyclists using the seafront will be: workers travelling in the early morning, those wishing to exercise (eg cycling rather than jogging for people with hip or knee problems), children, older people and less confident people. It should work well. Those wanting to cycle fast will not use it.
19. Bespoke has pointed out that the 1km of cycle path installed last year from St. Bede’s school to the Wishtower is still confusing and needs more signs. This made us cautious about shared use unless there is adequate signage. We have recommended improved signage in this area.
20. We recommend sufficient signs making the routes clear, including cycles painted on the tarmac and different colour tarmac. Most of Eastbourne’s promenade is very wide. The sections from St. Bede’s school to the Wishtower (already installed) and from the wishtower to the Pier (planned) have 2 or 3 promenades and a pavement, with cycling only permitted on one level as shared use. It may be that walkers use one of the other levels.
21. The signs may need to say “cyclists please use your bell to warn others of your presence” as they do in Brighton, on the Undercliff path.
22. There are some days when volumes of people are too high for comfortable cycling, especially in the section between the Pier and the Redoubt fortress. We expect this to be self-policing, in that children will still cycle and others will either push their bikes or cycle on the road.
23. We would request:
a. Some provision needs to be made for when the Bandstand section is closed (for example opening up the pavement to cycling on that section)
b. Urgent attention to signage and painting cycles on the tarmac for the section already completed (Bede’s to wishtower). This needs bigger signs and far more of them as it is still confusing. The Traffic Signs Manual states that the blue shared pedestrian / cycle sign to indicate a shared use footway should be located where the shared route begins and must be used as a repeater at regular intervals to remind cyclists and pedestrians that pedal cycles can legally be ridden on the pavement. Existing signage is not adequate and should be improved, particularly around the areas where access points lead to and from the ramps to the seafront.
c. Attention to the 4 pinch points between the pier and the Pavilion tea rooms. A Boardwalk was considered in 2010. Could this be re-explored please? Please note that the current ‘Netpave’ surface between Glynde and Hastings is currently closed for repair. Any similar option for Eastbourne would need to be maintained.
d. The path by the Natural Fitness Centre and Redoubt should be opened up for cyclists. The Dotto train currently uses this as access from Royal Parade.
e. A better corner at the Natural fitness centre/Redoubt, perhaps using the wasteland there.
Route 4: Town centre to Hospital
24. We are delighted that this is a priority route – thousands of people work at the hospital and this would allow many to make the modal shift to cycling. Cycling by hospital staff and by students and staff at South Downs’ College will be a huge benefit to residents and car drivers in reducing congestion and parking in local streets.
25. Our preferred route for the future is off-road behind the houses. We realise there are constraints around a landownership and funding at this time.
26. Advisory cycle lanes are difficult on a busy road, especially for children or less confident cyclists. Advisory cycle lanes must be 2 metres wide wherever possible and no less than 1.5 metres even at pinch points. There is plenty of room to achieve this on Kings Drive and if the facility is built to a high standard then this could be a very valuable addition to the cycle network, despite Kings Drive being a relatively busy road.
27. We recommend some aspects of semi-segregation, such as “armadillos” or “circular semi-separators” at intervals (Ref 7, Ref 8, Ref 9). Because King’s Drive is such a busy and dangerous road (large number of KSIs – Killed or Seriously Injured) which links several schools, we want to see semi segregation such as armadillos to deter people from driving or parking in the cycle lane.
28. From the hospital to Prideaux Road, removing parking, with double yellow lines and an advisory cycle lane will make section this far better by allowing visibility.
29. We realise that at Prideaux Road there is insufficient width for any separate provision on the area. Solutions include:
a. double yellow lines all along this section to prevent cars parking half on the road, half on the verge as at present.
b. the width of the pavement on at least one side of the road could be widened to 2.5m to accommodate a shared pedestrian / cycle path.
c. at this point cyclists (e.g. school children) should be permitted to use the pavement
30. Accessing the station via the car park is a good idea. Currently the car park signs and tarmac arrow painting suggest this is not possible. We would prefer a designated 2-way cycle route through the station car park.
31. Red surfacing is needed to continue the cycle lane across junctions to give cyclists priority.
32. At other parts of King’s Drive (further North and not part of this consultation):
a. Some of the cycle lanes are too narrow
b. There are junctions where no provision has been made for cyclists, with their lane just stopping
c. A review of this section would be useful to see where improvements could be made. This would then link the route to key education facilities and further increase usage.
33. Upper Avenue might be a better route than having a dog-leg (down Mayfield Place)
34. It may be easier to use Bedfordwell Road, coming from Gorringe Road, and sticking to Upper Avenue, rather than cyclists having to keep crossing. A contraflow may be useful for cyclists here where it is one-way.
Route 5: Horsey way section 1: Railway station
35. This section is desperately needed. On these plans the section joining the recently opened Horsey Way route is far too convoluted and indirect to be used by cyclists. The constant changing of one side of the road to another is not conducive to cycling. Also, the suggestion to use St Phillips Avenue is worrying given the speed and volume of traffic on this route.
36. The first section is dual-carriageway on the widened pavement, as far as Cavendish Place. This section should work well. There are bins in this area and people with doorways straight onto the cycle path, but we hope this has been considered.
37. Consideration should be given to using the alternative quiet route from Ashford Road via Junction Road (rear of JCP car park), Ashford Road, Dursley Road, Winchcombe Road and then exiting on to Firle Road. The money saved from not building the proposed shared route along Ashford Road / Cavendish Road could then be used to redesign the Firle Road / Whitley Road traffic light junction and would enable the introduction of Advanced Stop Lines. This route could then continue via Stansted Road, Waterworks Road, Moy Avenue and then via Courtlands Road before linking in to Ringwood Road near the start of the off-road Horsey Way section that has already been built. There is sufficient width to widen the footway and provide shared ped / cycle facilities on Waterworks Road, Moy Ave and Courtlands Ave.
38. The ideal would be using the land by the railway, installing a high fence and just running along the east of the railway line, traffic-free. We hope that East Sussex County Council’s negotiations with Southern railway are proceeding.
39. We dislike the crossing over at Cavendish Place. This is very bitty for cyclists, having to get up press a button, and then cross to the other side of the road. It would be better to keep the cycle path on the North of the road the whole way along. If we can’t use the north side, ideally the shared space route on the south side should have the same priority of as the rest of Cavendish Avenue where it crosses Belmore Road and Bourne Street.
40. The plans have a cyclist crossing the road again to a path on the other carriageway on Crawbrook Road (by the fire station). This seems awkward, particularly since the bends on both sides of the road reduce their visibility to cars.
41. The blind corner off St Phillip’s Avenue would be difficult for cyclists.
42. The section changing to Havelock Road is poor. The cycle route would be better either:
a. Staying on Firle Road
b. Using Dursley Road which is quieter. There are two roads: Winchcombe Road going East, Dursley Road going Westwards. This means a short section of one-way street (Dursley Road) would need to be 2-way for cyclists. This would need a “no entry except cyclists” and other signage. No parking would have to be removed. A specific cycle lane is not needed.
43. Advanced Stop Lines at the traffic lights Firle Road to Whitely Road would be very useful.
44. There is a development occurring at the old BT site, with 37 houses. It would be better to take the cycle route over there for the final part of this route. The pavement outside the diary on Waterworks Road could be shared space.
45. For the final part, St Philip’s Avenue is sub-optimal for cyclists. Similarly Ringwood Road is very busy with cars, as is the junction between these 2 roads. Our preferred alternatives are:
a. Along Horsey sewer
b. Moy Avenue
46. Taking the Firle Road / Stanstead Road route brings the Horsey route very close to the hospital route, making it a more joined up solution
6: Horsey way Section 3 – Lottbridge Drove to Langney roundabout
47. Looks great!
48. This is a genuine off-road route linking several schools
49. It ends at the Langney roundabout, so excellent for linking large numbers of people
50. We suggest traffic calming is needed on Birch Road as this is a fast junction.
51. The toucan crossing over the very busy Lottbridge Drove needs to be as close as possible to Hammonds Drive
Regarding the byelaw currently preventing cycling on Eastbourne promenade:
Bespoke have had advice that the current byelaw does not required changing, because it states that cycling is not permitted except where the council has placed signs allowing ing it. The planned route would clearly sign that cycling was permitted.
Byelaws relating to promenades Eastbourne Borough Council 19 April 1995 (Extracts)
- No person shall, without reasonable excuse, ride or drive a cycle, motor cycle, motor vehicle or any other mechanically propelled vehicle on the promenade…except on any part of the promenade where there is a right of way for that class of vehicle or in pursuance of a statutory provision or lawful agreement with the council.
- If the council has set apart a space on the promenade for use by vehicles of any class, this byelaw shall not prevent the riding or driving of those vehicles in the space so set apart, or on a route, indicated by signs placed in conspicuous positions, between it and the entrance to the promenade.
In May 2002 the byelaws were extended to also include the Eastern Parade and the access road at Fisherman’s Green. These two routes have signage allowing cycling so the precedent is in place to carry this on for the seafront route being proposed.
Between the Pier and the Healy Shelter opposite Cambridge Road is pavement and not covered under the byelaws. ESCC would need to convert this to allow cycling, something that can be done without a change in the byelaws, in a matter of weeks.
Keeping the byelaw would give the Council flexibility at peak times, such as Airbourne, to reintroduce signs to limit cycling where required.
1. Cycle Infrastructure Design, Department for Transport 2008 Local Transport Note 2/08 Section 9.10.1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-transport-notes
2. TAL 9/97 Cyclists at Roundabouts, Continental Design Geometry http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090505152230/http://www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/165240/244921/244924/TAL_9-97
3. Cycle Infrastructure Design, Department for Transport 2008 Local Transport Note 2/08 Section 1.3.8 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-transport-notes
4. Re cycle lanes inside the row of parked cars: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gRGLXVfGHNQ/UAhPyM5rdrI/AAAAAAAABE0/wlP5WEjtzZo/s1600/NYC+buffered+bike+lane+in+action.jpg
5. CTC 18.6.2012. Brighton’s Old Shoreham Road: the cycle-ways to the future. http://www.ctc.org.uk/news/2012-06-18/brightons-old-shoreham-road-cycle-ways-to-future
6. Shared Use Routes for Pedestrians and Cyclists, Department for Transport 2008 Local Transport note 2/08 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/shared-use
7. Notes on “armadillos” and semi-segregation http://www.camdencyclists.org.uk/newsitems/ccc/royal-college-street-cycle-track
8. The Guardian 6.11.13. London expands protected cycle lane scheme http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/06/london-protected-cycle-lanes-scheme
9. Separated cycle lane suggestions: https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/general/bike-futures/11522/