We Need A Solution That Works For All

Bespoke’s Chair – Scarlett McNally – was guest columnist in the Eastbourne Herald on Friday, July 11, 2014. Here is a copy of her column.

Bespoke is shocked to hear about the appalling behaviour when a child was run over by two people on bikes. We hope she recovers soon.

There are a huge variety of people who cycle, not just a tiny minority of anti-social louts, and many more would cycle but don’t because traffic seems dangerous.

The busy seafront road was the scene of 17 injury collisions – that is cyclists hit by cars – reported to the police between 2005 and 2011. Yet most of us could cycle. Think about European cities. Think of the reduction in pollution and congestion.

Bespoke has produced clear safety tips for cyclists and motorists (and yes, cyclists shouldn’t jump red lights!).

Cycle parking and good safe routes are needed too. There is a an epidemic of ill-health related to lack of exercise. As a surgeon I have seen massive increases in dementia, stroke, diabetes, depression and hip fractures, yet regular exercise reduces your future risk of each by 30 to 50 percent.

Eastbourne is a lovely compact, sunny place to cycle.

There are economic benefits of nut running a car and lower-income or shift workers can access work and young people can get to education more easily. Cyclists often stop to shop (having saved £60 per tank-full of petrol). Every cyclist saves a parking space.

Eastbourne is blessed with miles of seafront which is mostly wide enough to accomodate everyone. The narrow section between the Pier and Redoubt is only half a mile. Although this passed the council’s “safety assessment” for cycling in 2013, careful attention and design and maximising width is needed along with co-operation. Bespoke is commited to working with Eastbourne Borough Council, East Sussex County Council and other groups on a solution that works for all users of the seafront. Other British seaside towns have found normal people cycling to be very civilising.

About Bespoke

Bespoke cycle group started in 2008 to encourage safer cycling in Eastbourne. Our website has more information, as does the British Medical Association website on the health benefits.

Anyone who wants a hard copy of our cycle safety postcard can contact us.

A copy of this letter, as printed in the Eastbourne Herald, is also available on the paper’s website – LETTER: Cycling group shocked at girl’s injury on seafront.