Council votes to scrap seafront cycle byelaw

Bespoke Cycle Group. SUS-140805-143526001
Bespoke Cycle Group. SUS-140805-143526001

A byelaw that stops people from cycling along the promenade is a step closer to being abolished - paving the way for the controversial seafront cycle route to go ahead.

At a full council meeting on Wednesday evening (May 7), the majority of councillors voted in favour of a proposal to remove the current local byelaw.

Following the full council’s authorisation, officers will now seek to obtain approval from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, which, if granted, will give the council the power to permit and control cycling along the whole of the promenade, either in an exclusive cycle-lane or on an unsegregated, shared-use basis.

Local cycle campaigning group Bespoke put six proposed cycle routes forward for a public consultation in January and at a cabinet meeting last month, four of those were approved to go on to the design stage.

Despite more than 70 per cent of the public voting in its favour, the route from the Wish Tower to Fisherman’s Green was held back because of the byelaw that prohibits cycling along sections of the seafront.

At a meeting of the full council earlier this week, the proposal to remove the byelaw was put forward and a named vote took place. Of the 25 councillors present, 17 voted in favour, six abstained and two voted against.

Scarlett McNally, chair of Bespoke, said, “Bespoke Cycle Group Eastbourne is delighted that Eastbourne Borough council has agreed to request the Byelaw prohibiting cycling on the seafront is revoked.

“People who don’t cycle are always asking Bespoke why there isn’t a seafront cycle route. Now we are a step closer. This will be for ordinary people to try and enjoy cycling.

“We are working with the Borough and County councils to get the best possible routes to improve cycling as an option in Eastbourne.”

The council will now request the byelaw be removed - a decision to be made by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.