A Network Of Safe Routes For Cyclists

The following article was written by Bespoke and Cycle East Sussex member Paul Humphreys, and was published in the Eastbourne Herald on Friday, May 29th, 2015.

Guest Columnist

There has been a fair amount of correspondence in the Herald about cycle infrastructure in Eastbourne.

Money from the Government, provided just for cycling, was spent on limited schemes in the town.

One that caused controversy was the War Memorial roundabout, which for a short time successfully slowed down traffic and made it safer for bikes.

However, it is apparent that these small schemes will not really provide the routes that the town needs.

Nationally there are targets to encourage new cyclists.

They aim for twice as many cyclists in 10 years’ time, and will have five times the current budget.

To reach this target it would have to include the young, old and less confident.

The new designs cannot be more painted lines on the road, but have to more “off-road” routes like the Cuckoo Trail.

Examples would be along the railway line from Hampden Park into town and along the Promenade.

Without these people cannot safely cycle into the town centre.

The BBC is reporting that on the same road journey a cyclist is 15 times more likely to have a serious accident or death than a car driver.

Following the Olympics and Tour de France everyone expected more cyclists.

Eastbourne would have been a fantastic town to see this growth with its countryside, tourists and foreign students.

However even though two new cycle hire companies set up business near the rail station both soon closed.

Possibly because the public can see there are no safe routes around town.

The UK All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group is clear that many town planners have not enough experience of cycle routes and their designs fall short of the Department of Transport guidance.

Our planners need to design a network of really safe routes that are segregated from the rest of the traffic to make a real difference.

If people want to use their cars then they should also support such schemes as the more people walk, cycle, or take the bus, the more quicker will be their journey.