Securing long term funding for cycling

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.

Big Pedal 2 – Change of timing

The Family Ride from The Big Park will now start at 11:00am instead of 9:30am

We have posted the new schedule on our Big Pedal 2 page:

The intermediate ride is unchanged, leaving The Big Park at 11am, so arrive in time for a prompt departure.

The choice of two rides and a roaring fire & free lunch at the end – it’s going to be great!

Come along and help promote The Big Park, with its planned cycle track, café with wood-burning stove, stunning play area, custom designed skate park and a dragon! Check out the amazing construction work that’s going on right now, ready for the opening on 7th March 2015.

Sunday MTB – Ride Report 25th January 2015

Sunday’s cross country ride was joined by a total of 21 riders of varying ability and fitness, joining or leaving the ride at various intervals. Here’s our ride report of a day blessed with sunshine, cool breezes and great company.

We started by taking the train from Seaford or Eastbourne to meet up at Falmer railway station where we joined forces with our 16th rider. After some introductions and a quick chat about the ride we headed of through AMEX stadium’s perimeter road to join the long climb heading North towards Woodingdean on the new cycle lane. Before we reached the top we cut the corner to link up to the South Downs Way, then onto Kingston Ridge on the Northern border of Castle Hill nature reserve. Such a big climb was a rather tough start to the day, but the weather was dry and we had a slight following breeze.

After a rest we continued on the undulating South Downs Way (SDW) with epic views over the Weald, to be rewarded with the long fast descent of Iford Hill down the concrete farm road.


Gus at the top of Iford Hill

After going though a particularly muddy cow field we had a puncture – the only one on the ride. 10 minutes later we had repaired the tube (and had a welcome breather) so we all continued down to South Farm, crossing the C7 into Southease. After crossing the railway and the road-bridge over the A26 we ‘looked forward’ to climbing the steep and daunting Itford Hill towards Firle Beacon. We were already an hour and a half into the ride, so Itford Hill did not look welcoming. We had the option of taking the train home and we were on the doorstep to the YHA café – two alternative and attractive options – but everyone wanted a crack at the hill.  There was no rush and we still had a long way to go, so we got there when we got there. Some rode, some walked, and some did a bit of both.

Two hours into the ride and we were riding along the top towards Firle Beacon, past the carpark at the top of Firle Bostal, and onward to the carpark at the top of BoPeep Bostal (a bostal is a small road up a steep hill). 12.5 miles from the start we had reached Bopeep carpark where four riders (one only 14 years old – amazing!) left the group and went down the hill to Seaford. We had planned to meet four others at this point but we were late, so that group had arranged to head off with Debbie (our latest ride leader) to Alfriston for Coffee and to keep warm. The main group caught up with the other five riders (one rode out from Polegate to join us) and, after a headcount and a bit more banter, we headed off towards Windover Hill via Lullington Church – a 580′ climb in only two miles – another one of the tough climbs one expects on the SDW.


Riders spread out across the middle of Windover Hill

After the long and arduous climb (and plenty of rest, snacks and hydration) four riders split from the main group and continued on the South Downs Way to go home to Eastbourne, led by Ray. The remaining thirteen continued into the top of Friston Forest for a lovely fast descent of ‘Cardiac Hill’ and along to West Dean pond and the road over to Exceat Hill. We took the alternative cycle route at the back of the Golden Galleon (Cuckmere Inn) before saying our goodbyes to go our separate ways to various parts of Seaford & Newhaven.

The ground conditions were soggy, making it hard going, but we had a great time. Roll on the drier months where we can go further and faster.

Falmer to Windover to Seaford – 25 Miles
Falmer to Seaford – 17 Miles
Seaford to Windover to Seaford – 17 Miles

Cycling worth £248bn by 2050

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.

Thank you.



Sunday MTB – Ride Report 18th January 2015

Fourteen riders braved the cold, damp and early start to slog uphill for 6 miles from the White Lion to Firle Beacon – an amazing turnout for what looked like a miserable start to the day. The soft ground made it harder than normal, but the wind was light. The sun popped it’s head out occasionally and the thick mists were being dispersed by the strong breezes – the weather was doing its best to keep us cozy, but there were still cold feet and fingers to cope with. After plenty of stops (and a small route extension by some of the faster riders) we finally reached the top by the twin aerials near Firle Beacon,  with it’s amazing views over the river Ouse from Lewes to Newhaven. We could now look forward to the 3.5 mile undulating route along the South Downs Way with a steep and fun decent towards Southease. The chalky road on Itford Hill was quite grippy, having been washed clean by heavy rains (again), and the all-weather surface on the bridge over the A26 kept a firm hold of our tyres. After a total of nine and a half miles (in 2 hours) we rode into the Courtyard Café at Southease YHA to make fun of each other’s mud splattered backsides.

Sunday Ride 18th Jan 2015

We had an hour of warming up with teas, coffees, breakfast rolls and banter before we got back on our bikes for what was supposed to be an gentle ride home along the river banks. The first field was full of sheep who had torn up the soft grass & mud surface of the path, so we rode through sloppy mud for 0.7 miles. The next field was much better, then we popped out onto the C7 for 0.4 miles (there’s no access on the river banks on this part) before re-joining the off-road route through Piddinghoe (more very soft and muddy ground)  and onto the cycle network in Newhaven. We chose the seafront route for our final leg past Tide Mills and the Sailing Club (another good place to stop for refreshments) and back to the White Lion. The return route took an hour and 20 minutes to cover the 7.5 miles.

Cycling on pavements

Cycle Seahaven has been asked about the rules for cycling on pavements,  so we’ve compiled this blog to help answer this question.

Click each heading to view the full text –

You mention cyclists on “pavements” and I assume that you mean footways and footpaths. A footway is a pavement or path running alongside a road over which the public has a right of way on foot only. A footpath is a way over which the public has a right of way on foot only and which is not a footway.

The national legislation that you refer to is section 72 of the Highways Act 1835 (as amended), which reads as follows:

72. Penalty on persons committing nuisances by riding on footpaths, &c.
[…] 1 If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers; or shall wilfully lead or drive any horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description, or any truck or sledge, upon any such footpath or causeway; or shall tether any horse, ass, mule, swine, or cattle, on any highway, so as to suffer or permit the tethered animal to be thereon; […] 2; every person so offending in any of the cases aforesaid shall for each and every such offence forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding [level 2 on the standard scale] 3, over and above the damages occasioned thereby.
1. Words repealed by Statute Law Revision (No. 2) Act 1888 (c. 57), s. 1, Sch. 1
2. Words repealed by Highways Act 1959 (c. 25), Sch. 25 and London Government Act 1963 (c. 33), s. 16(2), Sch. 6 para. 70
3. Words substituted by virtue of Criminal Justice Act 1982 (c. 48), ss. 39, 46, Sch. 3
4. Short title “The Highway Act 1835” given by Short Titles Act 1896(c.14) Meaning of “carriage” extended by Local Government Act 1888(c. 41,), s. 85(1) Preamble omitted under authority of Statute Law Revision (No. 2) Act 1890(c. 51)

The case of Coates v Crown Prosecution Service [2011] EWHC 2032 (Admin) includes a helpful application of this section, including the meaning of “carriage”, “drive” and “ride”. It is clear from this case that a bicycle is a “carriage” for the purposes of section 72.

Two offences in section 72 of the 1835 Act, namely driving on the footway and cycling on the footway, are designated as fixed penalty offences for the purposes of section 51 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act

1988 (see Schedule 3 of the 1988 Act). Section 54 of the 1988 Act applies where on any occasion a police constable in uniform has reason to believe that a person he finds is committing or has committed a fixed penalty offence. Subject to the provisions of section 54, the constable may give the person a fixed penalty notice in respect of the offence.

Lewes District Council is not the enforcing authority for section 72. You may want to raise this matter with Sussex Police to discuss their approach to offences under section 72, including the use of fixed penalty notices.

The above wordy response from ESCC is correct. The rules for cycling on footways (by the side of a highway) and footpaths (often across fields or between highways) vary, but generally it is not allowed unless there are signs saying otherwise. There are exceptions, though. The landowner of a footpath may grant cycling permission to an individual or group, and some footways have been converted to ‘shared use’, like Seaford’s promenade. There are many bridleways (where cyclists are allowed to ride) that are not marked as such. An example is the route from the junction of Firle Road and Firle Drive in Seaford to St Andrews Church in Bishopstone Village via Costcutters convenience store.

Whether or not you are allowed to ride on a particular footway or footpath can be confusing. Whatever the designation, younger and less able cyclists will often choose to ride on footways as a matter of safety.  Motor vehicles cause terrible damage to others whereas cycles are slower moving and rarely involved in incidents. The current penalty that’s referred to in the above text is currently £30 (as of today, 14th Jan 2015), though children up to the age of 16 cannot be prosecuted for doing so.

Always ride responsibly and with respect for others

This article on Cycling and the Law is quite helpful

SUSTRANS, the sustainable transport charity that represents walkers and cyclists has published a code of conduct for cyclists riding on footways designated as Shared Paths:

Cyclists tend to be the fastest movers on shared paths, but the paths aren’t suitable for high speeds so it’s important to keep cycling speed under control. Remember that they are for sharing, not for speeding. If you wish to travel quickly, train for fitness or record personal best times, this is better done on quiet roads.

Following this code of conduct will ensure that everyone can benefit from shared paths:

  • Give way to pedestrians and wheelchair users;
  • Take care around horse-riders, leaving them plenty of room, especially when approaching from behind;
  • Be courteous and patient with pedestrians and other path users who are moving more slowly than you – shared paths are for sharing, not speeding;
  • Cycle at a sensible speed and do not use the paths for recording times with challenge apps or for fitness training;
  • Slow down when space is limited or if you cannot see clearly ahead;
  • Be particularly careful at junctions, bends, entrances onto the path, or any other ‘blind spots’ where people (including children) could appear in front of you without warning;
  • Keep to your side of any dividing line;
  • Carry a bell and use it,or an audible greeting, to avoid surprising people or horses;
  • However,don’t assume people can see or hear you – remember that many people are hard of hearing or visually impaired;
  • In dull and dark weather make sure you have lights so you can be seen.

Click HERE to jump to the source of this voluntary code

Seaford Accessible Transport group

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:


The Big Pedal 2

This shamefully cribbed from the BigParksProject website (with some slight changes)…

The Big Pedal 2!

Saturday 31st January 2015

Registration required

Following the rip roaring success of the  Big Pedal in July, The Big Parks Project, Sustrans and Cycle Seahaven are heading back out into the South Downs National Park for the Big Pedal 2. On Saturday 31st January there will be a family ride led by Sustrans and an intermediate ride by Cycle Seahaven that will take in the banks of the River Ouse. Both rides will stop for a free lunch at Stud Farm in Telescombe Village which got outstanding reviews for hospitality when the cyclists visited last summer.“My son loved it….showed us all how easy it is to access the countryside on your doorstep” Cathy“Enjoyed the ride, seen different parts of the countryside, felt very safe on the road with Marshalls, good for the community” Ella aged 10. 

Details for the family ride are as follows

(new timing shown below – 90 minutes later than previously advertised)

11.00 am – Meet at Piddinghoe Sports Park for a bike check with Dr Bike

11.20 am Briefing on the route and safety with Sustrans

11.30 am The ride begins

11.40 am Peacehaven Heights School junior site pick up

11.50 noon Meridian Community Primary School pick up

12.30 pm We arrive at the farm for lunch (arrival time may vary depending on riders age and ability)


Intermediate Ride

11am Meet at the Big Park

The ride is 10 miles long will take between 90 mins and two hours. Click for the Route Map

if you have any questions on the Intermediate ride then email Cycle Seahaven using our CONTACT page


How to sign up

If you would like to take part in the Big Pedal 2 email to reserve a place, stating which ride you wish to join and how many there are in your family/group.

Cycle Touring in France

Some Cycle Seahaven cyclists on the Avenue Verte near Dieppe last September

Some Cycle Seahaven cyclists on the Avenue Verte near Dieppe last September

Fancy some cycle touring in France?

If you’re a member of the CTC then you have the opportunity to do this with Phoenix-CTC, as explained in my previous post on this subject ‘Cycle Touring in France with Phoenix-CTC’.

There will be three cycle events in France this year, starting with a channel hopper to Dieppe in early May. You can find more details of these events at If you’d like to enter any of them then you’ll need to be quick as the closing date for entries is Thursday, 15th January.

If you have any queries then don’t hesitate to contact me at

Bon Cyclisme,