A move to introduce cycling along Eastbourne seafront has been halted.
A government department rejected Eastbourne Borough Council’s proposals to amend the by-law to permit cycling on the promenade between Fisherman’s Green and the Wish Tower.
One of the major concerns was that a comprehensive cycling and walking strategy should be put in place by the council first.
The Department for Communities and Local Government was also flooded with objections to the scheme which would see pedestrians and cyclists sharing the promenade.
The move has been welcomed by campaigners against seafront cycling but the council insists it will press ahead with plans and an integrated strategy is being drawn up.
A council spokesperson said, “While this is a setback for a great many cyclists in Eastbourne, the DCLG has given a very clear steer that the door remains open subject to further work being undertaken.
“To this end meetings with East Sussex County Council are already underway and we can assure everyone interested in a safe and sustainable cycling and walking network across Eastbourne, the council will do all it can to advance this process.”
An East Sussex County Council spokesman said, “We will continue to work with Eastbourne council and the local community on the development of improved walking and cycling facilities across the town.”
The fiasco has led to Conservatives on the council taking a swipe at their Liberal Democrat counterparts as the Tories have long been calling for an integrated strategy to properly represent all users of the seafront.
A Conservative spokesperson said, “We asked the council to pause any lifting of the by-law before an integrated cycling and walking strategy was in place.
“We want more people cycling in the town however this must be part of an integrated transport system rather than using a sticking plaster approach that doesn’t take into account the views of pedestrians and vulnerable people.”
MP Caroline Ansell said, “I’m not surprised at this decision as there was no clear plan and local consensus.”