The saga of an Eastbourne cycle path
From: Felicity GoodsonBespoke Cycling Group, Eastbourne
Bespoke have been working hard providing practical routes for three Covid trial pop up cycle paths so that East Sussex County Council could benefit from the Covid-19 emergency transport funding.
Unfortunately the Council did not take up our suggestions despite asking for our help.
Instead they came up with a very poor one of their own on the seafront road crossing junctions, intermittent and dodging disabled and coach parking. No one wanted that.
Finally they just put in some cycle racks and missed out on massive cycle infrastructure funding.
Disheartened but determined to improve on what paths we have, we then repeatedly emailed East Sussex County Council to cut back the dangerously overgrown Lottbridge Drove section of the National Cycle Route 21.
This is a major route used by walkers, cyclists and disabled vehicles. Despite added pressure from Cllr John Ungar, East Sussex County Council felt 1.5 metres was ample room to pass one another with no protective barrier, on this busy, fast, lorry laden dual carriageway.
So much for their signs calling for the Covid two metre distancing!
In fact, half way through this six month saga, they claimed the stretch of path belonged to The Chatsworth Estate.
We chivied them to chivy Chatsworth to cut it back. Finally they sent photos saying it had been done. It was the wrong side of the road!
No cycle path there or safe access to it. Pointing this out ESCC admitted the Miniature Railway side was theirs and… it didn’t need cutting back.
We were utterly despondent and deeply concerned for the many school children that use the route, when suddenly The Fibre Fairy appeared!
Thanks to Cityfibre Metro Ltd laying their cables the whole length and their subcontractors Lanes who cut drastically back to the original three and 3.5 metre shared path width and beyond into undergrowth.
We were blessed with a job well done despite East Sussex County Council.