East Sussex County Council are currently consulting on creating 5 new cycle routes across Eastbourne. These are our concerns with the proposals.
Bespoke have been consulted, on these and other routes, in the past.
Generally designs are not what Bespoke would wish for and this point has been made to ESCC/ES Highways on numerous occasions, both in writing and at meetings. For example the most recent EBC Planning Committee agreed to a 1m shared path (pedestrian, disability and cycle) through the Pump House (Bedfordwell Road) site. Something that ESCC had signed off as acceptable. As an overall position any route that is too narrow, requires dismounts, changes of carriageway, uses only ‘paint on the road’ as protection, and is contention with other users is not satisfactory. That is not to say that all routes are poor and Horsey Cycleway is a good example of what they can do.
It is worth noting that ESCC state
We… recognise that the proposals may not fully achieve all of the core design principles set out in LTN1/20.ESCC cycle consultation
More simply the schemes are not compliant with the latest standards.
Bespoke consider this next statement from ESCC to be wildly optimistic.
These proposals would significantly improve the cycling network around Eastbourne, putting in place infrastructure to support people to change habits and find a more active and healthy way to travel.ESCC cycle consultation
Bespoke believe that there are some good routes in the area such as Horsey Sewer, Shinewater, and the Cuckoo Trail. These safe, off-road routes are ideal for the less confident, elderly and children and allow access between the various communities.
However, in contrast, there are no routes, within the town centre, that either Googlemaps or Cyclestreets show on their maps. With the removal of cycling in the Terminus Road area this lack of cycle access is becoming more pronounced
Horsey Way phase 1b
…the final section of the Horsey Way route which will run from Eastbourne Railway Station to Ringwood RoadESCC cycle consultation
Cyclists have to dismount and walk near the station, twice change to the other carriageway on Ashford Road and again dismount. It is unlikely that many experienced cyclists would use this route. There is also the danger to pedestrians on the shared space. Bespoke would like, at the other end, as an alternative the extension of Horsey
Sewer cycleway along the watercourse, past ESK until Courtlands Road.
Eastbourne Town Centre
…allowing cyclists to travel in either direction from Eastbourne railway station, via the Devonshire Quarter, to the seafrontESCC cycle consultation
A complex meandering route that is indirect and features numerous busy junctions and crossings. There is some attempt to mitigate the risk but these are wholly inadequate.
There would be an ideal opportunity to slow down traffic and reduce danger, by providing a 20mph limit or zone, in the area around Old Orchard Rd, part of Saffrons Rd, in front of the Town Hall and South Street.
The best solution would have been a traffic free route from the station to the seafront ideally along Terminus Road.
Stone Cross to seafront
…a shared route allowing cyclists to travel in either direction from Stone Cross, via Langney, towards the seafrontESCC cycle consultation
The section through Adur Park is welcome. Later on the multiple crossings from one side to the other of Larkspur Drive are not as safe as a possible route running through Shinewater Park. Connected to a possible off-road route along the verge of Sevenoaks Road.
…a shared route connecting Sevenoaks Road and Kingfisher Drive to the Langney Shopping CentreESCC cycle consultation
Section 1 – Use the existing popular 3m path, tucked in the trees, running parallel and 20m from Willingdon Drove, starting at Sevenoaks Road. Then connect to a suggested off-road route along Sevenoaks Road and the existing path in Pigs Lane.
Section 2 – Safe route from Langney Roundabout along Princes Road down to the
Sovereign Centre. Supported
…a shared route which runs along the western side of Langney Rise from the shopping centre to Langney roundabout, connecting with the existing Horsey Way cycle routeESCC cycle consultation
There are a number of places where the shared path suggested is too narrow, near to bus stops, crosses side streets and cuts across entrance to drives and houses. Once again the suggestion of an off-road route along Sevenoaks Road verge would be better. There are then options to connect this to the Shopping Centre through paths and quiet streets.
Routes must be able to link up to a wider network. There remains more worryingly no safe route through the town centre
The consultation ends on 24th September 2021.