Work starts on new seafront cycle route

THE first phase of work on a new seafront cycle route will begin outside St Bede’s School in August.

The work from August 13 to September 2 will widen the existing footway on Dukes Drive and has been scheduled to avoid clashing with Airbourne or the start of the new St Bede’s term in September.

The cycle route will provide improved linkages between the town centre, the western area of the town and the South Downs National Park.

Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council approved plans for the one-mile route on the existing footpath between Dukes Drive and King Edwards Parade in September 2011 after consultation with the public.

The remainder of the work, to provide a shared cycle and pedestrian route between Holywell Road and the Wish Tower will follow after September 2. The whole scheme is expected to be completed by October 22.

There will be limited disruption to car parking later in the construction phase, as bays will need to be removed and repainted, but this work will be carried out over one or two evenings only.

Jay NcNally from cycle group Bespoke, which has petitioned for a cycle path along Eastbourne’s seafront, said, “We are delighted work is getting underway on the new cycle path.

“We’re very lucky to have such a beautiful route along our coast and the new route will allow more to commute and enjoy the scenery in safety. Cycling is great exercise, environmentally-friendly and fun for all the family.”

Councillor Steve Wallis, Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for the Environment said, “This development shows we are fully committed to delivering more cycle routes for residents and visitors of Eastbourne.

“The Cycling Strategy with East Sussex County Council fits perfectly with our objectives of reducing Eastbourne’s carbon footprint, creating less congestion and improving air quality in the town.”

Councillor Carl Maynard, East Sussex County Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said, “I’m really pleased this work is getting underway. Not only does cycling play an important part in reducing congestion and improving access to services, it is good for your health too. I would encourage more to get on their bikes and enjoy this beautiful part of our county.”

Work was completed on the first section of another bike path, the Horsey Cycle Route – which runs alongside Eastbourne Park between the railway station and the eastern side of town – in March this year, with the remaining three phases due to be completed by September 2014.

Feasibility work is expected to be undertaken later this year on how best to provide the missing link in the seafront cycle route between the Wish Tower and Fisherman’s Green.