Tuesday 28th January.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne & Sgt. Stacey Ellott of Sussex Road Policing Unit recently met with members of Cycle East Sussex to discuss issues of Road Safety and Cycling. Cycle East Sussex consists of eight cycling campaigning groups throughout East & West Sussex. These include: Cycle Seahaven, Hastings Urban Bikes, 1066 Cycle Club, Eastbourne Bespoke, Bexhill Wheelers, Ouse Valley Cycle Network, Cycle Lewes & Bricycles of Brighton & Hove.
The meeting offered the opportunity to discuss Road Safety and to hear how those concerns might be met. Key issues included: Dangerous parking at junctions obscuring vision for traffic, how 20mph limits could be effectively enforced, the appropriate collection of data following collisions involving cyclists so that action could be taken against those responsible, the need for clarification over the advice to cyclists regarding the position on the road they should take, concerns over the safety of cyclists in rural areas, and several other topics.
Attention was drawn to the Road Justice campaign and the debate in Parliament on dangerous driving. Both raise important issues that need addressing.
The cyclists were keen to emphasise they do not condone dangerous or illegal riding by cyclists and expected the law to be upheld by all road users. It was agreed that the key principle is to encourage mutual respect. However, for some drivers, there is clearly a need to appreciate the vulnerability of cyclists and pedestrians on the roads.
Katy Bourne and Sgt. Stacey Ellott offered advice and clarification where necessary, promising to investigate some of the concerns raised.
This constructive dialogue bodes well for the future. Many people do not cycle because of concerns over safety on the roads. Yet travelling by bike offers huge benefits: it is good for your physical and mental health, it reduces carbon emissions, and it is cheaper than other forms of transport. The cycling groups are hopeful that, by working in partnership with the Police and Local Authorities, more people will begin to feel that the roads of East Sussex and Brighton & Hove are safe enough for them and their families to ‘get on their bikes’ and enjoy the freedom that cycling offers.