Seafront cycling gets go-ahead after trial

Seaford seafront, new cycling signs. SUS-140304-120148001
Seaford seafront, new cycling signs. SUS-140304-120148001

A trial scheme allowing cycling along Seaford seafront has been made permanent.

East Sussex County Council said the majority of those who took part in a consultation or who were interviewed about the scheme were in favour.

It said extra signs and a code of conduct would be introduced to make elderly pedestrians feel safer.

Residents had until October 17 to give their views to the county council about the scheme. The Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 2 passes through Seaford.

Cycling had been prohibited on the town’s promenade, which meant cyclists had to use the carriageway along Marine Parade between Edinburgh Road and the Martello Tower. Allowing cyclists to use the prom will provide a safer alternative.

A spokesperson for Cycle Seahaven said, “We are thrilled that the people of Seaford have supported cycling on the seafront with such a resounding majority in favour of the scheme.

“The survey results are conclusive with 83 per cent of those interviewed saying they were happy for the trial to be made permanent.

“This is excellent news for young, inexperienced or less able people who were looking for somewhere flat and safe to cycle.

“There have been no reported incidents, and levels of cycling remain unchanged since the ‘Share With Care’ scheme was adopted.

“We are pleased to see that good-natured sharing of this wonderful resource is something that comes naturally to the residents of and visitors to our seaside town.”

There were no incidents recorded during the nine month trial period which began at Easter 2014.

However some concerns were expressed about the safety of pedestrians, particularly those who are less mobile, or have hearing or visual impairments.

The county council said extra signs and the introduction of a code of conduct should help address these concerns.

Cycling will be allowed on the promenade between Edinburgh Road and the Martello Tower.

It will be shared by cyclists and pedestrians. Amongst the concerns expressed by residents were that cyclists did not use the promenade considerately, that the promenade is for pedestrians and that there was not enough space for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as saying cyclists should use the road.

Some also called for a separate cycle lane and called for cyclists to use bells.

The consultation revealed that the main comment received from members of the public was that the scheme was working well.

Cyclists were using the promenade before the trial began but it has now been made legal. The promenade forms part of National Cycle Route 2, which runs from Brighton to Camber for 70 miles.

It is one of a number of cycle routes around the country. In total there 14,000 miles of National Cycle Network Routes around the UK which are on quiet roads or traffic free paths.