An unnerving cycling experience

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Copy of letter sent to Cllr Carl Maynard, lead member for transport and environment at East Sussex County Council:

Regarding Staples roundabout, intersection of the A22 and A259 in Eastbourne.

May I draw your attention to a recent Parliamentary debate about cycling.

There is a map available which hows how many cyclists have been killed or seriously injured in Eastbourne. Please note that two deaths have occurred on either side of the roads leading to this roundabout.

I, and many other people who live and work on the Hastings side of Eastbourne, cycle in this area and have to try and negotiate this roundabout frequently. It is such an unnerving experience because the provision for us cyclists is totally inadequate and makes it quite clear that, at the time the scheme was devised, cyclists, and pedestrians for that matter, were regarded as unimportant. (The message is clear - if you want to travel to any of the shops, businesses or houses nearby, you must go by car. And, because most people do so, that area is usually congested, the traffic slow-moving, causing stress, creating expense and damaging the public’s health, thereby increasing the burden on the NHS.) To make matters worse very recently Sussex Police have attached notices to lampposts etc along Seaside (the A259), approaching Sthe taples roundabout, warning cyclists that they are liable to a £30 fixed penaly notice if they ride on the pavement. The notice cites The Highway Act 1835! Seriously, 1835. One really might expect that someone in authority would weigh up the risk of death resulting from their decision versus, at worst, the faint possibility of minor injury before posting such a risible notice.

Happily the national mood (but not East Sussex County Council and Sussex Police it would appear) seems to have changed a lot recently in the face of mounting evidence that cycling has very positive effects on the environment (especially pollution and CO2 targets) and is particularly good for everybody’s health irrespective of their age. Please would you bring your influence to bear a) to get the police notices removed and b) to start the process of providing a safe and speedy way for cyclists to negotiate the Staples roundabout without their having to “dismount” their bicycles?

STEPHEN KITTOE

Bespoke cycling group