Consultation into cycling on Seaford Promenade

Seaford Promenade
Seaford Promenade

A controversial consultation into a trial scheme which allowed cycling along the seafront is underway.

Residents have until October 17 to give their views to East Sussex County Council about the plans.

This will help the council decide whether the scheme becomes permanent or not.

Some residents raised concerns there would be collisions between cyclists and pedestrians, making it dangerous for people to walk along the seafront.

However others welcomed the idea, saying it would make it safer for people to cycle through Seaford, create a safe space for children to learn to cycle and encourage more people to cycle instead of use their cars.

Some readers said they had been nearly knocked off their bikes by car doors opening on the Esplanade.

During the trial the use of the shared cycle path and footway was monitored.

The county council said Sustrans’ National Cycle Network Route (NCR) 2 passes through Seaford.

A section of shared cyclepath and footway was constructed along Marine Parade in Bishopstone, which means that there is now a continuous off road cycle route connecting Seaford with Newhaven.

The route is well used and provides a safer alternative to the busy A259 coast road, the county council said.

The off road cycle route from Newhaven currently finishes near Edinburgh Road at the western end of Seaford.

Cycling was prohibited on Seaford promenade, which means cyclists have to use the carriageway along Marine Parade between Edinburgh Road and the Martello Tower.

The county council said the section of route along Marine Parade was not ideal for cyclists owing to the presence of parked vehicles on either side of the road.

Allowing cyclists to use the promenade would provide a safer alternative to Marine Parade, it argued.

The scheme is being promoted jointly by East Sussex County Council, Seaford Town Council and Cycle Seahaven.

The trial scheme began at Easter this year and continued during the summer.

Residents will be allowed to legally cycle along the promenade until a decision is made.

A decision on the future of cycling along the promenade is expected from the county council soon.

A spokesperson for Cycle Seahaven said: “Cycle Seahaven are very pleased with the cycling trial on Seaford Seafront, and our thanks to go Seaford Town Council, Sustrans and East Sussex County Council for helping to make it a reality.

“Families and beginners can now enjoy a leisurely ride along the prom from the Martello Tower all the way to Newhaven on a flat, safe, traffic free route.

“There have been no reported incidents to Seaford Police, and Cycle Seahaven will continue to promote safe sharing our wonderful seafront with all users regardless of age or ability.”

Rod Lambert, owner of Mr Cycles bike shop in Seaford said: “I have received nothing but positive feedback from customers with regard to cycling being allowed on Seaford promenade.

“Inexperienced riders of all ages have found it of real benefit to be able to get used to their bikes somewhere they feel is safe and flat.

“The shared use between cyclists and pedestrians has allowed families from Seaford and Newhaven to ride together safely and without feeling guilty. Having recently returned from cycling in Belgium, and seen how motorists, cyclists and pedestrians share thoroughfares in the towns and cities, the ‘share with care’ philosophy is one to embrace wholeheartedly.

“I consider the experiment on Seaford promenade to be a success and all we need to do now is get motorists to ‘share with care’ as well.”

To take part in the online consultation follow this link: https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/cycling-seaford-promenade-trial