Eastbourne cyclists just ignore seafront ban

From: Michael and Valerie WoodsLascelles Terrace, Eastbourne

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 9:56 am

I am in complete agreement with Brian Higgins, whose letter (Cyclists are spoiling Eastbourne’s promenade) you recently published click here to read.

My wife and I like to walk along the promenade, but our enjoyment is spoiled by inconsiderate cyclists who blatantly ignore the various ‘No cycling’ signs.

There are some who ride quite fast, and carelessly close to pedestrians, who they seem to think have a responsibility to dodge them.

Seafront No Cycle Sign Eastbourne Prom SUS-150618-070904001
Seafront No Cycle Sign Eastbourne Prom SUS-150618-070904001

My wife has had more than one bad experience with cyclists riding close to her from behind, aggressively and without warning.

Recently, notices have appeared on a couple of lampposts reiterating the ban on cycling, however these are hidden away quite discreetly and virtually invisible to the cyclists that whizz by them.

It doesn’t help that as well as being hard to see, the signs contain an invalid website address for the local council (byelaws is mis-spelled), and the website for reporting anti-social behaviour to the police is so convoluted and user-unfriendly that many people must be deterred from trying to report the matter.

Last weekend we saw more than a dozen people cycling, or riding e-scooters (which is currently illegal anywhere other than on private property) along the prom.

We spoke to a number of them to point out that cycling is prohibited; most ignored us. One said he wasn’t cycling because he was riding an electric bike, and another asked why we cared, and that he was doing no harm because it was seven o’clock in the morning. Yet another one laughed at as.

Last year you reported that a Freedom of Information request had revealed that no fines or warnings had been issued to cyclists in the previous two years.

In that article, a spokesman for Eastbourne Council was quoted as saying: “Our Neighbourhood First officers do their best to engage with anyone not abiding by the no-cycling signs and explain why it is a pedestrianised area.”

My wife and I are yet to see a Neighbourhood First officer on the prom, so we wonder how effective this is.

No doubt the police and the council would cite a lack of resources for the lack of enforcement of the bye-law, and I appreciate that the promenade cannot be patrolled 24/7, however, some sort of presence, some sort of enforcement, along with publicising those prosecuted or fined might make a difference, because the current policy – relying on the goodwill of the public – is clearly not working.

We love walking along the prom, as do many thousands of other people, both locals and tourists, so it is a great pity that these walks are often spoiled by the presence of inconsiderate and unpredictable cyclists.