Cycling on Seaford prom gets the go ahead

It is good news indeed to hear that Carl Maynard, Lead Member for Transport and Environment, has agreed to a trial allowing cycling along Seaford seafront this Easter. The trial will start in April and last for 6 months.

The proposal is for ‘shared access’ across the whole width of the prom. Cycle Seahaven fully suport the ethos of a shared, fully inclusive path without the ‘automatic rights’ suggested by white lines. It will be up to everyone to share this wonderful place with mutual respect. The prom will be for leisure cyclists who keep their speed down, and definitely not for ‘racers’.

Marine Parade and the Esplanade are popular roads for on-street car parking, which presents additional hazards. An off-road promenade route will reduce the risk to leisure cyclists, especially for the young and less abled. We’ve had strong support from residents and local authorities for this welcome trial –

“ Seaford Neighbourhood Policing Team are keen to support any initiative which makes cycling safer, especially for more vulnerable cyclists. We hope that this will do just that and encourage more people to get out on their bikes, whilst at the same time respecting the rights and enjoyment of pedestrians.” Sgt. Stuart Mullins, Sussex Police

“We are rightly proud of our promenade and it is an area that is greatly enjoyed by everyone.  Opening it up for shared use will widen participation in cycling which is a wonderful form of exercise, and families with young children will also have a safe space to teach their children to cycle.
It will also mean that we can sensibly extend the Sustrans National Cycle route which connects Newhaven and Seaford.  I am encouraging the County Council to also look at improving the fair weather route that was recently opened connecting Chyngton   Lane North with Exceat.
I  hope Seaford Town Council who are going to work in partnership with East Sussex County Council on this scheme will also include Cycle Seahaven, our local cycle group who have particular expertise and who already do a lot of work with local families and cyclists.” Councillor Carolyn Lambert

Cycle Seahaven will continue to work with the local policing team, Seaford Town Council and East Sussex County Council to help ensure that all cyclists respect other users in the way they ride, particularly along the promenade.

Sunday Morning Ride to the Velo Café – 12 January 2014

It was a beautiful Winter’s morning – dry, a slight chill in the air and a gentle breeze blowing; good cycling weather as long as you’re wearing the right clothes for it. Six of us cycled to the Velo Café in Brighton, only about 4 weeks after our first visit to this splendid cyclists’ café.

The ride from the Martello Tower in Seaford is a round trip of 30 miles and includes the undercliff path between Saltdean and Brighton Marina, sea on one side and a chalk cliff on the other. This part of the ride is quite invigorating especially when, as it was this morning, the waves are splashing against the sea wall and the fresh smell of sea air wafts in on the onshore wind.

The ride to the Velo Café takes about 1¼ to 1½ hours at touring pace so, with a 30 to 40 minute stop at the café, the round trip takes about 3½ hours so is ideal for a Sunday morning bike ride.Cyclists and bikes hanging around at the Velo Cafe

Getting through Newhaven is much better these days as we use a route identified by Andy Lock which makes use of Valley Rd between the C7 and A259. In fact, Andy was on our ride this morning.

The Velo Café is briefly described in my previous post, Touring Ride to the Velo Café. I should add that the service is very good and a major advantage of this café is that the walls are made up of large windows, presumably bi-fold doors, so you can keep an eye on your bike whilst you’re inside. You can even hang your bike up as several of our cyclists did this morning, see picture.

I’m sure we’ll be going back there during February so, if you haven’t been to the Velo Café yet, why not join us!

Happy cycling


Campaign update – January 2014

Cycle Seahaven are regularly updated by East Sussex County Council, and we attend meetings and workshops on behalf of local cyclists. A few questions were posed recently and ESCC promptly got back to us with the following answers:

Q. Can you please clarifty the use of both ‘No Cycling’ and ‘Cyclists Dismount’ signs on Newhaven Swing Bridge (it’s usually one or the other).

965 - End of Route

965 – End of Route


966 – Cyclists Dismount


951 – No Cycling






 … the footways over the bridge are not legally designated as shared-use (possibly as they are of reduced width and due to the low height of the parapet railing) and therefore “Cyclists Dismount” signs are used (Diagram 966 of DfT’s Traffic Signs Manual – “Pedal cyclists to dismount at the end of, or at a break in, a cycle lane, track or route”). As  the section of footway over the bridge only represents a break in the cycle route, it would not be appropriate to use “End of cycle route” signs (Diagram 965 – “End of cycle lane, track or route).

“No cycling” signs (circular, with a red border) should only be used in off-highway locations (such as alleyways on housing estates) – they are not used for footways on the highway, such as those on the bridge, as cycling on a footway adjacent to a highway is a specific offence (where there is no cycle track order) and doesn’t require a sign to indicate it (Section 72 of the Highways Act 1835). In other words, people should not be cycling on the footways across the bridge. The small “no cycling” stickers that have been affixed to the railings on one side of the bridge are not really required and I’ve not yet been able to determine who installed them. I hope this helps a bit?

Q. When with the cycle route under Bishopstone bridge be officially opened?

A. Bishopstone NCR2: whilst the new section of this route is open and is being well-used, there are some on-going construction issues which need addressing before it can be formally opened. I will let you know when the situation is resolved.


Q. Any idea of where we are with the proposal to allow cycling on Seaford Prom in Easter 2014?

A. Seaford Promenade cycling trial: a report is being taken to our Lead Member later this month seeking authorisation to permit cycling on the relevant section of seafront promenade on a trial basis, to commence this Easter. Provided authorisation is obtained, the trial will continue throughout the summer during which data about cycle use can be gathered which will inform a final decision about cycling on the promenade on a permanent basis.