LETTER: You can’t turn back the clock

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With an interest in Eastbourne since 1938, when I became a local resident, I note with disbelief the consideration being given to allowing cycling along the seafront.

By all means, where possible, provide cyclists with the opportunity to ride in safety, but the seafront is not one of them. It is one of the town’s main attractions giving pleasure to thousands of pedestrians every year. The sea, beach and middle and lower parades provide an environment not available at any of the neighbouring seaside resorts. The parades, without doubt, were designed for pedestrians only.

More than 100 years ago the danger of cyclists and pedestrians on promenades resulted in local authorities being authorised to pass a bylaw excluding the former from such areas. The proposed change would result in pedestrians losing the protection at present given to them by the local bylaw and a reversal to the early days of the 20th century – but now involving many more people including the young, the old, the partly disabled and the poor sighted.

A bicycle is noiseless and apparently does not have to be fitted with a means to give warning of approach. When ridden it can cause serious injury particularly to the elderly. The rider does not have to be insured which would cause difficulty to anyone wishing to obtain financial compensation for injuries. This is an important matter involving locals and visitors. However, irrespective of any local support, the consequences of any change, good or bad, is the responsibility of those making the final decision. No one has yet found a way to put the clock back should they be the latter and people don’t have to ride a bicycle along Eastbourne’s seafront.

F Thomas

Montague Way, Westham

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