Seafront cycling saga
You may not be surprised to hear there’s still no news on Eastbourne’s seafront cycling front. Eastbourne Borough Council submitted their responses to the latest (final?) round of queries from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) at the end of March, but they’re clearly still busying themselves with it.
So anyone who might want to ride from the town centre out east, be it to the Redoubt museum, or Sovereign Harbour or towards Bexhill and Hastings on the Coastal Culture Trail, must still take their chances on the dangerous Marine Parade as far as Fisherman’s Green.
Sussex Coastal Culture Trail Map & Guide
We have been busy trying to help promote the Coastal Culture Trail, and have published a new Map & Guide along with Bexhill Wheelers, the Classic Cycle Group and Hastings Urban Bikes. Beautifully illustrated by St Leonards-based Benjamin Phillips, it includes recommended routes for cycling and walking inland: Polegate, Hailsham, Herstmonceux and Battle. You can get them from Towner Art Gallery, De La Warr Pavilion and the Jerwood Gallery and various bookshops, bike shops, cafes and tourist offices in the area for £1.
Perhaps we should have waited until high-quality cycle infrastructure was in place before we started talking up the joys of riding the Coastal Culture Trail. To wait, or to bang on? Should we spend our spare time trying to persuade well-paid highway engineers to do their jobs properly? Dispiriting though it often is, there are signs that banging on can make a difference. Infrastructure improvements to the Coastal Culture Trail route between Eastbourne and Bexhill are now on the agenda for East Sussex County Council’s Local Transport Draft Implementation Plan 2016/17 – 2020/21.
London starts to Go Dutch
And in London, two proper cycle tracks, fully separated from the traffic, have opened: east-west along the Embankment and north-south across Blackfriars Bridge. They look fantastic, are already well used and it’s fair to say they are the direct result of campaigning on social media by the likes of Mark Ames (ibikelondon).
Here on the south coast, we’re gearing up for another seaside jaunt – the Pier to Pier ride from Eastbourne to Hastings this Saturday 21st May. It’s to celebrate the revival of both fire-damaged piers, with a special gala event on the day at Hastings. Meet at the entrance to Eastbourne pier at 11am for an 11.15 start (some of us will be gathering over coffee at Towner Art Gallery cafe from about 10.15am. We will stop for about 45 minutes at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (around 12.30-1.15pm). I will be getting the train back… Hope to see you there.
Come and see us at Eastbourne Cycling Festival on the Western Lawns on 4th and 5th June. And join us on Saturday 16th July for a ride from the town centre to Pevensey Castle for the Wealden Food and Wine Festival. We’ll be hooking up with other East Sussex cycle groups there on both 16th and 17th July.
Bespoke gatherings are still at the Da Vinci Hotel, 10 Howard Square, Eastbourne on the third Wednesday of each month. Next one is tomorrow (18th May 2016) at 7.30pm
Safe summer cycling!
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