Petition over cycle route

A petition backed by more than 1,000 people calling for the creation of an Old Town Cycleway has been handed to East Sussex County Council (ESCC).

If introduced the route, which was proposed by the Bespoke Cycle Group (BCG), would link schools in the Polegate, Willingdon and Old Town areas.

Felicity Goodson, who founded BCG in 2008 because of concerns she had while cycling to school with her son ,said benefits would include tackling traffic congestion and obesity.

She said it was crucial to have safe links to schools adding, “This will facilitate for so many children to access schools without having to rely on parents, help traffic congestion, help cut greenhouse gas emissions and tackle obesity.

“It will empower the children and give them a sense of freedom we had once.”

The route would link Hailsham with Old Town and Eastbourne seafront and town centre and also provide a link between 10 schools in the Polegate, Willingdon and Old Town areas. The petition calling for the cycleway saw more than 1,300 signatures collected in 10 days.

Councillor John Ungar handed the document over to the chairman of ESCC last week. The online petition collected around 500 signatures, with the rest on paper. Cllr Ungar said they were still collecting signatures to be added to the petition, adding, “It’s [the petition] something the public have got behind.

“I think it’s such an overwhelming response that demonstrates the community commitment to healthy modes of transport.”

An ESCC spokesman said, “We are aware of the petition for the Old Town cycle route and intend to present it to the lead member for transport and economy for consideration when received. Our focus is on implementing three of the nine priority routes identified in the Eastbourne Cycling Strategy, planned for construction in the next 10 months. These routes are funded by a combination of development contributions and the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund amounting to £350,000.”