The controversial issue of whether cyclists and pedestrians will be able to share the seafront promenade between Fisherman’s Green and the Wish Tower will go out to public consultation.
Eastbourne Liberal Democrats gave the green light to the initial amendment of the byelaw last night (Wednesday).
Now it will go out to consultation for 28 days and if there is overwhelming support to the consultation by the government’s department of Communities and Local Government, it will be down to East Sussex County Council to come up with a cycle path for segregated use of the promenade for cyclists and pedestrians.
Bespoke, the Eastbourne cycling campaign group, and cycle shop owner Stephen Kittoe spoke in favour of a seafront cycle lane at the meeting.
Bespoke says cyclists will be safer riding on the promenade and Mr Kittoe said Eastbourne was behind the times in providing safe routes for cyclists and foreign visitors were often dismayed at the lack of safe cycle routes.
Liberal Democrat councillors on Eastbourne Borough Council are also in favour and believe residents and visitors should be allowed to use the seafront promenade for cycling.
A council spokesperson said, “In March 2014, the council’s cabinet committee agreed in principle that subject to the agreement by DCLG that the byelaw could be amended, that the seafront cycle route along the promenade between the Wish Tower and Fisherman’s Green could be taken forward by East Sussex County Council to detailed design.
“This detailed design is now almost complete.
“The proposals for the route will include improvements to the area outside the Pier and adjacent to the Redoubt.
“They will also include new code of conduct signs – signs which advise users on how best to share the route) and ‘share with care’ signs, to raise the awareness of cyclists, pedestrians and other users of each other.
“East Sussex County Council has confirmed that the works are likely to be carried out next year.”
The opposition Conservative group on the council, however, fiercely opposes any lifting of the byelaw.
Tony Freebody, leader of the Conservatives on the authority and himself a keen cyclist, said councillors had listened to many local residents and believe the lifting of the bylaw will allow cyclists to use parts of the promenade that are not designed for segregated cycling or indeed shared space.
“The lifting of the byelaw could open up the possibility of cycling along the length of our seafront,” he said.
“Whilst improvements need to be made to our cycling infrastructure, potentially allowing cycling between Fishermans Green and the Wish Tower is not the answer.”
Cycling is currently allowed on the seafront at the eastern end at Sovereign Gardens to Fishermans Green.
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