Newsletter claim upsets cycle group

A CYCLING campaign group has accused a residents’ association of scaremongering and misrepresenting them in a newsletter.

Meads Community Association’s newsletter asks residents if they want to see ‘a swarm’ of 80 cyclists disturb the tranquility of the seafront’s lower promenade.

But Bespoke cycling group has rubbished the claims, saying its own members rejected proposals to use the beach-side road and have earmarked the middle promenade as their route of choice.

The newsletter shows a picture of the lower promenade and says, “Now imagine a mass of 80 or so cyclists vigorously pedalling through the centre of the picture, in and out of the pedestrians and pets. Doesn’t really fit does it? Imagine the impact this will have on your safety.”

Felicity Goodson, from the campaign group, said the claims were inaccurate.

Campaigners have pushed to use the middle promenade, arguing it has fewer pedestrians and has easy access to the top promenade.

She said the community association was scaring people with their fears and the only time Eastbourne cyclists travelled in packs was during peaceful and safe campaign rides.

“They are frightening themselves with conjecture.

“They have built up Bespoke as men, women and children on bikes who want to wreak havoc on the seafront promenade. Their newsletter of November 2010 was melodramatic to say the least,” she said.

The newsletter continued, “(Cycling) is largely a leisure activity heavily promoted by a tiny minority.”

But the campaign group said it was working for the benefit of schoolchildren and residents across the town.

It also claimed it would help towards council targets to reduce carbon emissions.

Ms Goodson said, “Our beloved lower prom may have waves lapping over it in 50 years’ time if we do nothing to cut emissions.”