Preston Park Velodrome, the oldest cycle track in the country, is under threat due to lack of funds. To raise awareness of the campaign to save competitive racing this iconic track there will be an organised ride from Brighton Pier to the velodrome. Open to all ages and all types of bike this 3 mile ride starts at 10am from Madeira Drive (near the pier) on Saturday 5th September. A route map of the ride can be seen using this link: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/9425201
With the continued delays on the Piddinghoe end of Egrets Way, Cycle Seahaven attended the Parish Council meeting on 14th July 2015 to see the issues first hand. The following report is from Committee member and ride leader Tony Rowswell.
There were about six councillors and twenty or so villagers, most of the latter appeared to be strongly in favour of Egrets Way, or perhaps, not happy with the new council. Also in attendance were Cllr Steve Saunders (Mayor of Newhaven), Cllr Carla Butler (ESCC) and Cllr Vic Lent (LDC), together with Noel West from OVCN. The meeting became very acrimonious with people shouting over each other and one walking out in disgust. The Chairman’s statement in the Agenda, the Residents’ Letter and the Response From OVCN give some idea of the grounds for “debate”.
However, when it all boiled down there were 2 issues:
- The C7. Many residents had wanted the speed limit of 50 mph reduced to 40 mph from the end of the bypass to Deans Farm, and had thought that supporting Egrets Way would achieve this.
- The route of the Egrets Way. Not so much disputing its path through the village, rather the access onto the C7. Chair said that the most recent (March 2014) plan from OVCN routed the Way along the Sailing Club road and The Street, then on to C7. Residents were also very unhappy with the imminent construction of the Way from Southease to Deans Farm, without having been given any information as to how it would join C7 and where it would go from there. Noel West said it would cross the road to the bridle way to Peacehaven. Piddinghoe PC were very unhappy about the dangers of these two junctions with the C7.
Final result – The residents letter in Agenda Item 2 would not be sent. Piddinghoe Parish Council would be prepared to join in discussions with OVCN, Highways, SDNPA, etc, to find a “safe, traffic free riverside route” for Egrets Way.
It appears also that OVCN, while responding well to the issues raised in the agenda, is not communicating as well as they could, and are possibly going ahead in order to spend available funds before all the details are tied up.
Supporting documents for download:
Residents Letter to Piddinghoe PC (not sent)
Phase 1 completion (Kingston – Lewes)
Phase 2 completion (Southease – Rodmell)
Planning approval documents (SDNPA site)
A spokesperson for the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) said:
“A lot of hard work has gone into the Egrets Way shared path network by SDNPA, Sustrans and OVCN and it’s always been a long-term goal to connect Lewes with Newhaven. We’re very grateful to the many landowners who have given over land for the project, we also respect people’s reasons and rights not to do so at this time. We are delighted that the next stages of work – linking Southease to Deans Farm north of Piddinghoe and Ham Lane in Lewes, under the A27, to the River Ouse – are due to start in July and we’ll continue to work with the OVCN and local communities on other opportunities in the future.”
Neville Harrison, chair of the Egrets Way project said:
‘We are excited that construction of some further sections of the Egrets Way will start shortly. This has been made possible thanks to the agreement of landowners and funding from the South Downs National Park’s ‘Cycling ambition’ fund.
We will continue to pursue our goal of a complete safe shared route linking Lewes, Newhaven and the villages of the lower Ouse Valley. The Egrets Way project has always been seen as one that will take time and require the goodwill of local communities, organisations and landowners. New sources of funding will also be needed but we remain optimistic that our goals will be achieved and will bring many benefits to local people, visitors and the wider community, including businesses’.
Here are the ideas so far.
- NCN2 along Arundel Road is spoilt by cars parking over the cycle infrastructure, and the cycle gaps created by the islands fill up with debris. These need addressing.
- Regarding the Peacehaven end of the new A259 shared path from Newhaven – the corner to Downland Avenue is a bit tricky to negotiate. Footpath Peacehaven12 onto Ashington gardens is a possible alternative if it can be opened up to cyclists.
*UPDATE: Under consultation
*UPDATE: In Progress
- Footpath Peacehaven 1 (along the cliff top) is a cracking route for MTBs and hybrids. Much of it appears to be highway and it’s used a lot by riders already, even though there’s no apparent right of way designated in some sections. It would be nice if it could formally be changed to allow cyclists.
- Crossing from Restricted Byway Telscombe 9a (popular with walkers and cyclists) from the Tye to the shared path on the South side of the A259 is not a nice experience.
- The wide metalled Footpaths Piddinghoe5 and 13b are a great route from the Big Park to Piddinghoe, and would be nice to be designated a shared path. A lot of cyclists use it already. It would make more sense if/when Egrets Way ever got finished.
- Glynn Road is another cracking route from The Big Park. It goes past Meridian Primary School and takes riders up to Telscombe Road and onto the Tye. Being a dead-end in the middle (passable by walkers and cyclists) makes this road quieter than others.
- Many roads often have cars parked along them making navigation tricky – especially with/for youngsters. A large number of roads in Peacehaven have wide grassy verges which could be converted to shared paths, especially those roads going to schools and shops. . Some suggestions would be:
- Rowe Avenue, back of Police Station, Sutton Avenue, Roderick Avenue as a central spine connecting NCN2 and the Meridian Centre and the back way to the Community School by Horsham Avenue North;
- The entire length of Telscombe Cliffs Way would link up much of the proposed route on the West side;
- Park Avenue, through the park, Balcombe Road to Peacehaven Heights primary, The Joff youth centre, Sutton Avenue spinal route and Peacehaven Community school;
- Connect Glynn Road to Roderick Avenue by the tree-lined path from the North of Horsham Avenue North via Firle Road.
Here’s a link to a draft map for Peacehaven: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zLlVG8i4AAa0.kY22qa7v5vuU
And here’s an old one we did for Newhaven: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zLlVG8i4AAa0.kUSpFPn93Eyo
If you have any further ideas then please get in touch by leaving a comment below or select ‘Campaigns’ from our contact page at http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/contact/
A plan to build twelve x three bedroom houses and four x two bedroom houses, including creation of an access route from Valley Road has been proposed in Newhaven. Cycle Seahaven regularly use Valley Road to get to The Fairway for safer access from Newhaven to Brighton, as we pointed out to East Sussex County Council here: http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/a259-csh/. This section of un-adopted road is also an important access path for school children attending Meeching Valley Primary School, so this may be an opportunity to improve access for kids and cyclists.
Newhaven is under pressure to increase housing supply and this development would be in addition to other proposals in the same area. Cycle Seahaven will be suggesting that any development of this residential area (and all others), with it’s school and parks, must adequately consider active travel (walking and cycling) and access for mobility scooters. Such development must also consider how the other proposals in the area will impact safe access for residents, with a long-term view of implementing wide pavements and cycle routes instead of favouring only motor vehicles.
You can view the application and leave comments here: http://planningpa.lewes.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=NEVBQIJD00G00
Further to the news item ‘Cycling worth £248bn by 2050’ there’s been a result.
Jon Snow, CTC President, has emailed CTC members to say that last Monday Parliament voted through an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill which creates a commitment to a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. This was something that only last week Ministers had been refusing.
Nearly 6,000 CTC members and supporters emailed their MPs, urging them to support the inclusion of an amendment calling for a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.
In an effort to present the case for cycling, CTC issued the Economic Cycle. This study from Leeds University revealed cycling could yield economic benefits worth £248bn over the next 35 years if ambitious targets for cycle growth are met.
Please click here to read a summary of the Economic Cycle.
A CTC commissioned report from Leeds University recommends a national target to increase cycling to 10% of all journeys by 2025, which may yield benefits of up to a quarter of a trillion pounds in economic benefit for England by 2050. These cumulative benefits are mainly from NHS savings due to better health (fewer cases of type II diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity, etc.) and lower traffic congestion (cleaner air and less stress).
To help achieve this we need you to write to our MP to make an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill. We are asking that the bill would create a legally binding Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. We have similar strategies for road and rail, why not walking and cycling? It’s easy to do and takes a couple of minutes. Just follow this LINK and fill out the form.
Accessible Transport Seaford (ATS) is a lively Facebook group dedicated to improving accessibility to Seaford’s attractions and amenities for all ages and abilities, whether it’s kids cycling to school, being able to park for your weekly shop, popping into the post office for a stamp, or parking your mobility scooter at a coffee shop.
Rather than focus on a particular transport method, ATS are looking at an holistic approach that encompasses drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and the less able. A number of interesting ideas have been proposed by individuals and ATS would like this to be a community led campaign that brings real transport improvements for everyone. Things are still in the start-up stages, so there are still a lot of questions and answers flying around, but support from other community groups has been strong.
From Cycle Seahaven’s standpoint we would be particularly keen for any ideas on an improved cycling infrastructure, including trips to schools and other ‘utility’ journeys (shops, surgeries, commuting). The vast majority of cyclists are also car drivers, pedestrians and users of public transport, so we acknowledge the fact that changes shouldn’t be detrimental to other transport options.
Join in at here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/accessibletransportseaford/
Cycle Seahaven 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% of those interviewed saying they were happy to 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 and visitors of our seaside town.
Thanks to Seaford Town Council and East Sussex County Council for making this happen.
If you want to read more about the approval meeting details then go to the ESCC website here: http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil/about/committees/meetingpapers/cabinettransport/2014/15december.htm