Saturday, 25 August 2012

Seafront cycleway progress with more to come

The first phase of work on a new seafront cycle route has started outside St Bede's School.

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 school 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 on after September 2. The whole scheme is expected to be completed by 22 October.

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 that 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 people to commute and enjoy the scenery in safety. Cycling is great exercise, environmentally-friendly and fun for all the family.”

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 people 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.

Councillor Patrick Warner, representative of Sovereign Ward on Eastbourne Borough Council added "many of my constituents share my view that we should be able to cycle into Eastbourne along the seafront without taking our chances in what is often very busy traffic on the road so I am pleased that whilst work has started at the opposite end of the seafront to us, feasibility work is now 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". Currently cyclists from the Harbour can ride along the seafront promenade from the Water Treatment Works on a dedicated cycle lane as far as Fishermans Green before either having to dismount and walk their cycles the rest of the way or switch to the road along the seafront which is not at all safe.

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