LETTER: Why should we be different?

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I am writing to correct Meads Community Association chairman Dennis Scard’s statement on seafront cycling [Letters, August 14].

He states that the current consultation by the Department of Communities and Local Government is to lift the bylaw from all the seafront promenades and allow cycling. This is incorrect.

The current consultation is to give Eastbourne Borough Council the ability to allow cycling on a “designated route” on the promenade. The default position is that cycling will still be banned on the promenades, unless stated otherwise.

Once the bylaw is amended, East Sussex County Council would like to implement a cycling link along the seafront, joining Meads to Sovereign Harbour along part of the promenade. The part allowing cycling would be the top prom between The Wish Tower and The Pier and the single level prom to Fisherman’s Green. This is the route consulted on last year, and that attracted strong public support.

If the changes go through, cycling will still be prohibited on the lower prom next to the beach between The Pier and Holywell, and on the middle prom from the Wish Tower to Holywell.

The amended bylaw also gives the borough council the ability to restrict cycling at times. An example could be during events like Airbourne, when cycling would be impractical.

At the moment we force families with young children onto our busy and dangerous seafront road, instead of letting them cycle sensibly and safely along our promenade. Fast cyclists will have no interest in riding along the promenade as it will be unsuitable for them, but slower, careful, less confident cyclists will benefit.

More than 120 other British seaside towns allow their residents and visitors to cycle along their promenades without major incident. Eastbourne should be no different to our neighbours in Seaford, Bexhill and Hastings in this respect. The proposal to allow cycling on some of the promenade while retaining the ban on other parts seems a good compromise. If you agree with me, please email your support to byelaws@communities.gsi.gov.uk by September 4.

Robert Price

Moy Avenue

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