Oh dear....the cycle controversy rolls on and on and has done since the 1990s and we are no further on in 2014.
My husband and I are both keen cyclists and use our bicycles most days and the thought of cycling along the promenade has always been a pleasurable prospect for us. However we feel that implementing a cycle track on the lower promenade is totally impractical. The incompatibility of pedestrians (many with dogs on long leads), wheelchairs, pushchairs, skateboards, roller-skaters, runners, dogs, plus the Dotto train together with cyclists of varying degrees of experience and sensitivity all sharing the same promenade is a recipe for inevitable disaster.
I decided to do some research on the middle promenade and have spent time wandering, at different times of the day, along the area from Holywell to the Wish Tower (in particular from Holywell to the Grand Hotel) and have noted that this is much under-used by pedestrians and most of those are dog-walkers. If half of this middle walkway, furthest from the edge, could be asphalted or similar and designated a ‘wheels only area” and the rest for pedestrians, in my mind that is the only way forward. I do think this would work but, again, there has to be much give and take and cyclist responsibility which is so often lacking.
We have cycled on ‘shared’ pathways in Brighton, Hastings and Bexhill which work well but Eastbourne hasn’t got the width of these seafront promenades. I am forwarding a copy of this letter to Eastbourne Borough Council with a request that they also do some research on the middle promenade before we upset too many more anti-cyclist friends.