Eastbourne still one of England’s lowest-ranked local authorities for walking, cycling and cycling accidents

Press Release from Bespoke in relation to the Department for Transport’s Walking and Cycling
Statistics, England 2016. – Paul Humphreys – 20/1/2018

On 18 January 2018, the department published a new National Statistics release, ‘Walking and Cycling Statistics, England: 2016‘, presenting results relating to walking and cycling at a national level and prevalence at local authority level.

Unfortunately Eastbourne continues to perform badly and is in the bottom 25% of English local authorities for walking and the bottom 10% for cycling ‘trips’. [ See CW0302 and CW0303] This is in contrast to Brighton which is in the top 3% for both walking and cycling. In Eastbourne only 11% of people cycle at least once a month and 74% walking, compared with the national averages of 17% and 77% respectively.

The number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured has generally been decreasing since the 1980’s, whereas the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured has risen since 2004. (page 18)

“Over half of trips by car [in England] are short enough to be walked or cycled. In 2016, 56% of car driver trips were under five miles.” And around 40% agree that “Many of the journeys of less than 2 miles, that I now make by car, I could just as easily walk or cycle”. (page 22)

Britain’s Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) in the UK recommend that adults should be physically active for 150 minutes a week. Physical activity must be of at least moderate intensity, in bouts of ten minutes or more, and can be spread over several days. However only 61% of adults are considered “active”. Sufficient walking and cycling would provide this exercise. (page 19)

Although “Two fifths of people have access to a bicycle” [ in England] “Three fifths of adults feel that it’s too dangerous to cycle on the roads”. (page 28)

Paul Humphreys, a member of Bespoke and Cycle East Sussex, said “The data is very disappointing and shows that more needs to be done to encourage walking and cycling. This would reduce congestion, pollution and improve the health of the community. Brighton has done well and shows that by supporting active travel the number of people walking, cycling and taking the bus can all be increased. Proposals along these lines, from East Sussex Highways, in respect of the Hailsham to Eastbourne Transport Corridor, show that without a 10% change to more active travel local congestion will become a serious problem. Their plans are similar to Brighton in including bus lanes and infrastructure for both cycling and walking. Without these improvements we are forcing people back into their cars, which will add to pollution and congestion. There is no reason it should be like this – Eastbourne has a good climate and flat terrain”.


The number of people who say the cycle at least five times a week are locally so low that they have to provide very wide 95% confidence limits. So 1.4% + or – 0.7% so between 0.7 and 2.1. That is why I chose the Once-a-month data. It has 10.9% (with a range of 3.7) so between 9.0% and 12.7%.

Over recent years the tables are not always identical but Eastbourne’s position remains very poor.

Accident statistics show Eastbourne is the 16th worst local authority for cycle accident rates across 320 local authorities in England. See “Cycling-Safety-In-Numbers-England-Initial-Findings-v1.2.pdf”