Media Watch – 12th August 2014

The Eastbourne Gazette this week features another cycling letter from regular correspondent Andy Adams of Trossachs Close.

Mr Adams is kindly drawing attention to our proposed Old Town Cycleway as he managed to miss the publicity around it over the past year. We published the route on our website, and have had various press over the years in the Eastbourne Herald and Gazette, school newsletters, social media, as well as petitioning outside schools on the route before the end of the school term. We’ve tried to spread the word, so any help is welcomed here.

Mr Adams is concerned that pedestrians will have their lives ruined by reducing the speed limit for motor vehicles near some schools, widening and improving pavements so they can be shared with kids on cycles, ending a motoring rat run by introducing one way traffic on one street near Gildredge House School and potentially providing a through route for those on foot or on a bike via Ocklynge Cemetery, avoiding the busy main roads.

Bespoke feel the route will make it safer for all children who walk or cycle to get any of the 10 schools on the route than at present. It should also have a knock on effect of reducing traffic as it would enable more children and parents to make their own way to and from school, rather than having to drive.

Bespoke, along with some friends, petitioned parents outside some of the schools on the proposed route a few weeks ago. Many parents were keen to see some or all of the improved pedestrian and cycle routes we have suggested constructed, and over 1,500 signatures were collected and presented to East Sussex County Council by Old Town County Councillor, John Ungar.

Last July we invited all borough and county councillors on the proposed route, as well as Eastbourne’s MP, politicians from all parties and officers of the councils, to join us on the proposed route. The plan was they could find out more, ask questions, and make suggestions. Stephen Lloyd MP was the only official able to join us for the entire route, as most others had commitments that day, though some were able to see us off from Polegate Station, or welcome us at The Wish Tower. After riding the route, Stephen was very positive (and sore from not having ridden a bike for years) and felt many residents would benefit from having the route constructed.

The route we have published is a starting point. East Sussex County Council as the highways authority would have responsibility to plan and construct any route. We hope they will take into account the will of the people, and start work on this soon.

We always welcome suggestions and improvements, so hope Mr Adams is able to pass on his ideas to us. We also hope he’ll continue to spread the word to those who haven’t heard of The Old Town Cycleway so they can find out more from us, and sign the Old Town Cycleway petition.