With the increasing domination of cars, caused partly by the new housing estates in Eastbourne and South Wealden ,there is no transport model from the authorities that suggests anything but worse congestion. The time has now come for a modal shift. So one possible approach is using the planning process. Traditionally transport planning is based on long cycles of design, review and implementation. The question is does this work when new house building is rapid?
Unfortunately it is rare for active travel options, like cycle routes, to be considered within and between the new housing estates. Bespoke and other groups have commented on how proposed cycle routes, shown on council plans, are not being considered within the planning applications. This is the case for both Eastbourne and South Wealden. In the latter particularly where large remote car-centric housing estates have been built.
The Local Government Association’s Decarbonising Transport report states “There is a housing shortage in the UK… this does not excuse poor transport outcomes in new developments. ..[which] inevitably leads to car-dependent communities. If a transport assessment is required of the developer, it is often limited to an impact assessment on road traffic… if road accessibility is not already present, developers can request government assistance to co-fund new roads.”
Where there is a cluster of new estates, each is being considered in isolation and adds a small amount of traffic, but this fails to include the cumulative congestion.
In Eastbourne there is such a cluster around the Dairy on Waterworks Road, BT site on Moy Avenue, ESK as well as the nearby Befordwell Road -Water Tower These will increase congestion but this is an ideal opportunity to provide transport alternatives.
What is required is a cycle route near and between the sites .This will probably not happen because the County Council tend to work on plans of at least 5 year periods, and does not react fast enough to new opportunities So the draft Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), that has spent 2 years on the shelf, does not include these new housing estates and more generally is proposing solutions that may not be acceptable to the new national LTN 1/20 standards, where ‘paint on the road’ is no longer enough
There are other routes needed, such as from the Water Tower site on Befordwell Road to Hampden Park alongside the railway line, but this proposal below, seems a good traffic-free option for starters.