The problems of shared space on Eastbourne seafront

From: Brian DayCo chair, 
Eastbourne Access GroupSanta Cruz Drive, 
Eastbourne

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 1:26 pm

Regarding the recent correspondence from cyclists riding on the promenade, by definition promenade is: ‘A paved public walk, typically one along the seafront at a resort’.

On Monday July 5, colleagues from the Eastbourne Access Group, Eastbourne Blind Society, Bespoke, and Eastbourne Neighbourhood First,some walking, some in wheelchairs, some on mobility scooters,some walked, rode,wheeled from Fisherman’s Green to the pier and back.

The purpose was to highlight the problems of shared space, particularly on the narrower sections of the prom and also the lack of enforcement of the no cycling by law.

Speed limit and cyclist and pedestrian signs at Fisherman's Green Eastbourne. February 26th 2014 E08112Q SUS-140227-131721001

We had hoped that a representative of Sussex Police could attend but due to unforeseen circumstances that didn’t happen.

On the way we came across cyclists both walking and cycling on the prom.

To those walking we thanked them for doing so and being responsible cyclists. To the ones cycling, they were politely asked to walk not ride in the no cycling area.

The first person pointed out to us, correctly,in my view,that there were too few signs visibly pointing this out although ‘No Cycling’ is marked clearly on the prom itself.

The second person failed to see reason as he’d been cycling daily there for three years and, why shouldn’t he cycle when people like them, pointing to my colleagues in wheelchairs and mobility scooters are permitted to use the prom.

The difference between ‘them’ and cyclists are that my colleagues are unable to walk whereas cyclists have legs, can use them and walk.

With regard to e-scooters and the like I was buzzed on the way back by the Redoubt by a father and two young daughters riding, what appeared to be electric unicycles, at speed weaving in and out of the pedestrians walking on the prom narrowly missing a very startled man on their way.

It is time that Sussex Police enforced the current law on e-scooters as even the chief constable admitted on BBC Sussex that there is a serous problem with them.

Finally to the complaint of pedestrians walking in the cycle lanes on the prom, perhaps if the cycle lanes were moved away from the beach side there maybe less incidents as people both young and old alike wish to see the beach and sea when, to use an old expression, promenading.

If that’s not possible then crossing points need to be established although to a young child nothing beats running on the beach whilst parents walk alongside on the prom.