From: Ron Spicer
For some time the UK has had a Government-funded ‘Propensity to Cycle Tool’ which allows for local authorities to map the potential for increased travel by bike under different scenarios.
This tool was already in operation before the ‘Cycle Walk Investment Strategy’ (CWIS), introduced in 2017, which has led to some local campaign groups creating cycle network maps, showing the facilities needed to be prioritised in their areas. Eastbourne has shown some results in that regard.
The latest proposed Government strategy regarding cycling includes the enactment of a law dealing with offences of causing death by dangerous cycling and a lesser offence of riding without due care and attention.
This being specific to cyclists, it will remove the necessity to use other much older legislation that would have had to be used in the prosecution of such serious offences with much less punishment detail.
This is in keeping with the absolute need to have cycling away from general road and pedestrian traffic as much as possible.
A sum of £1.2bn has been set aside for the provision of much needed cycle routes that allow for safer cycling and here in Eastbourne there is some evidence to show that the necessary action and support for separate routing has been created.
Some, yes, but much includes a shared area with general road traffic and its obnoxious fumes.
With so much funding (£1.2bn) for cycling and walking reliant on local authorities it is absolutely crucial that our councillors appropriately apply themselves to ensure that Eastbourne has its share in the best possible way.
In the past over many years, I have proposed the creation of a cycle route from Hampden Park through the green area, adjacent to the railway line to the railway station in Eastbourne, a route far from the motor vehicle’s fumes and its inherent danger; a proper continuation of the Cuckoo Trail, but alas, to no avail.
The Eastbourne Herald has thankfully published my letters over the years but little or no interest has been shown by the cycling fraternity in the town, nor by our local councillors.
No wonder no action has been taken regarding my proposal, yet the then CEO of Sainsbury’s promised me he would open up the area from the Sainsbury supermarket end, provided those involved were in agreement for the proposal to proceed.
Those in opposition were our local councillors, done in the most subtle way, and a greedy, well-known local estate company which was only interested in making cash from the idea instead of applying a good social outlook.
About half a century ago the local council itself proposed the same type of route and since then I had regularly raised the matter!
Hitherto, the council has also used the excuse that it couldn’t afford.
There’s still cash available so all those who are cyclists or interested in the general safety of both cycling and walking, which must include our councillors, should take note and support this idea.
Maybe even the Lottery Fund could also be involved?