Levels of cycling in and around Eastbourne are well below the national average and other seaside towns, according to the latest Department for Transport (DfT) statistics. Just one in ten adults rode a bicycle in town once a month in 2014/15, and a paltry 1% cycled three times a week.
Disappointingly, cycling levels have remained static in East Sussex and, worse still, they have declined steeply in Eastbourne. Far fewer people cycle regularly (more than three times a week) in Eastbourne than in other seaside towns including Worthing (where more than seven times as many adults cycle regularly), Bournemouth, Brighton & Hove, Great Yarmouth and Southend.
Eastbourne’s Bespoke Cycle Group are very disappointed that so few people choose to get around by bike, but they are not entirely surprised. Despite recent efforts by Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council, many of the town’s roads remain hostile for cycling and there is still no coherent network of safe routes that would enable children to ride to school or their parents to cycle to work.
We wait on for news of the crucial traffic-free east-west cycle route along Eastbourne seafront. Far more needs to be done to provide safe cycle infrastructure if councils are to have any hope of achieving the DfT’s aim of doubling cycling in the next ten years.
Notes for Editors
These DfT statistics are based on telephone surveys of over 160,000 respondents with around 500 people per local council. Any perceived limitations in this methodology apply evenly across the country.
ESCC prefer to use their own survey data, from specific locations, where infrastructure improvements have been made. However, there is no evidence of an increase in cycling numbers outside these locations.