Total disregard for Equality Act

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EASTBOURNE Borough Council is now back, determined to construct a cycle lane from Holywell to the Wish Tower using a pedestrian footway with no definitive markings and in total and utter disregard for their obligations to the young, infirm, elderly and disabled and the provisions in the Equality Act 2010.

My wife and I attended the display in St John’s Parish Hall where, after inspecting the plans and proposals, we addressed questions to council representative leading to the following answers:

r The cycle lane will not carry markings to distinguish between pedestrian and wheelchair users.

r In time they will eventually learn to respect each other’s positions and dangers. There will not be a cycle speed limit!

r The hedges to be ripped out are diseased anyway and would eventually have to be destroyed.

r We hope cyclists will utilise their good sense of road (footway) use to adjust their speeds which on the straight downward slope could easily reach 25-30 mph.

r It is agreed it starts nowhere and finishes nowhere at this point of the planning stage but we intend to extend it right the way through the seafront. We don’t think and we certainly hope it will not be used as a speed track by cyclists and/or skateboarders.

r There is not much we can currently do to the very dangerous bends to the Holywell approach from Beachy Head where it is agreed, many serious accidents have occurred in the past.

r We have not found any records of cyclists being in danger of or encountering accidents on the stretch we plan to develop.

r We promise police or council officials will enforce ‘no cycling’ legislation along the promenade once this cycle lane is built.

r We will not be held liable for any accidents if they should occur as the result of the cycle lane being found a danger to others.

r The new cycle lane/footpath will not be policed but we will leave it to the users to exercise respect for others.

r We have not exactly had a health and safety study carried out but we have covered those aspects within our own reports.

r It is agreed at least one disabled parking bay will have to be removed from the Wish Tower/Lifeboat Shop parking area to accommodate the cyclists.

r If we don’t use the £100,000 soon we will have to hand it back to Berkely Homes.

The list is almost endless but I trust readers will identify the questions and reasons behind them.

My point in raising the Equality Act 2010 and discrimination against the disabled is totally justified when the mere ‘perception of harassment’ is sufficient to constitute an office against the Act.

Can anyone reasonably argue a bicycle, and probably more than one at any given time, approaching a disabled or infirm person at possibly 30 miles per hour on this footpath could do anything other than create extreme fear in minds of those less fortunate individuals?

I am a mere 73-years-old and fairly fit but such action would put me at fear and I suggest any reasonably like-minded pedestrian, disabled or otherwise.

The removal of the disabled parking bay speaks for itself.

John W Davis

Chesterfield Gardens