Winter Touring Rides

The weather is getting colder and Jack Frost has started to visit us. As in previous years, our touring rides will continue throughout Winter on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday of each week. However, please check the Rides Calendar on the morning of a ride in case there’s been a change.

Changes to rides are more likely during Winter because of inclement weather. Certainly, if there is a risk of ice then a ride will be cancelled or sometimes the route may be changed. This can happen because the temperature inland can be several degrees colder than on the coast so a ride to, say, Horam or Heathfield may get changed to Rottingdean or Brighton to avoid the risk of black ice.

If a ride is cancelled, altered or delayed then the Rides Calendar will be updated with the details at least one hour before the planned start time of the ride. Members in the CSH Tourers WhatsApp Group will receive a message immediately a decision is made to change a ride. (Please see my previous post: Cycle Seahaven Tourers’ WhatsApp Group).

Sunday morning touring rides are now starting at the slightly later time of 9.00am at the Martello Tower on Seaford Promenade. The start time for Tuesday and Thursday touring rides remains unchanged at 9.30am, usually at the entrance to the Seven Sisters Country Park car park in Friston Forest although occasionally at the Martello Tower.

Happy and safe cycling,


Cycle Seahaven Tourers’ WhatsApp Group

The WhatsApp group for the tourers which was set up about a month ago is working well. It’s proving useful for advising and consulting group members about late changes to rides. Also, group members can invite others in the group to join them on their own (non-Cycle Seahaven) rides.

Most of the regular tourers have joined so if any other Cycle Seahaven member who rides on our touring rides, whether regularly or occasionally, would like to join our WhasApp Group then please let me know.

You can contact me through the Ride Leader Contact page. I’ll need to know your mobile no. and, of course, you have to be a WhatsApp user.

Happy messaging,


A27 up-grade – some positive news.


Following the publication of the Preferred Route for the eventual Up-grade to the A27 (see members have made representations to various bodies complaining about the lack of north-south crossings on the A27.


The following is a response to letters concerning this lack of north-south crossings and the proposed “ghost” crossing at Wilmington received from the ESCC Lead Member for Transport, Cllr. Nick Bennett.



Mr Rowswell,

Thank you for your email of 19 October in relation to pedestrian and cycle provision as part of the A27 East of Lewes smaller scale interventions.

Highways England has engaged with the County Council, and other key stakeholders including Sustrans and the South Downs National Park Authority, over the last couple of years as they have developed and consulted upon their proposals for the A27 East of Lewes. The Preferred Route Announcement made by Highways England in late September identifies a package of localised improvements on the A27 corridor between Lewes and Polegate which will increase capacity and improve safety.  Whilst the package of improvements are welcomed, these will only deal with the issues with the current route in the short term.  Therefore, along with the local MPs, other local authority leaders and the business community, we are lobbying for a more comprehensive solution (ie. an offline dual carriageway) to address these capacity, journey time reliability, safety issues in the medium and long term as well as support housing and employment in the area.

As you highlight, the preferred route announcement package of improvements includes a shared use path along the length of the A27.  At present Highways England are still considering whether the shared use path will be north or south of the road, but from ongoing discussions with Highways England on the package of improvements, our understanding is where possible they would like the shared use path to be away from the main road, albeit that might not be practicable in some locations.

I note your comments in relation to the provision for cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians going north – south across the A27.  The funding for the A27 is specifically for improvements on the section of the road between Lewes and Polegate and cannot be used for improvements off the strategic road network. 

However we have had separate discussions with Highways England and the National Park in relation to how improvements can be made to non-motorised user routes either side of the A27 and thereby make the case for monies from the HE’s Roads Investment Strategy Cycling Programme, which is a designated fund of £100m available up to 2020 to deliver safer cycling infrastructure near or across the Highways England road network. As part of our ongoing engagement with Highways England on the design of the smaller scale interventions, my officers will also continue to make the case to them for monies from this funding pot to improve pedestrian and cycle facilities north and south of the A27 into the National Park.

Finally, in relation to your comments regarding the lack of crossing facilities as part of the proposals for Wilmington, the scheme does include the introduction of a signalised crossing to the west of the staggered ghost island junction which will provide a safe place for pedestrians and cyclists to cross and thereby address the concerns you raise.

I trust the information above is of interest.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Nick Bennett

Lead Member, Transport and Environment

East Sussex County Council

A Perfect Autumn Cycle Ride

Cyclists outside the Di Paolo Café in Bexhill

Thursday was a superb day, dry and sunny with no wind: the perfect autumn day for cycling. Our destination was Bexhill, one of our favourite destinations for a ride. It’s a virtually flat route apart from Chapel Hill just after the start; in fact roads don’t get much flatter than Rickney Lane which we cycled along to cross the Pevensey Levels!

This made for easy cycling, especially as there wasn’t a headwind so we cruised along at a rate of knots more familiar to the Intermediates and Sportives! it didn’t seem long before we reached Bexhill and was cycling along the promenade towards our café stop at the Colonnade, underneath the De La Warr Pavilion.

We were surprised to find the Colonnade fenced off. (It appears that ‘Tea Beside The Sea’ café has permanently closed; the lease expired). However, there’s no shortage of cafes in Bexhill so we soon found one the other side of the De La Warr Pavilion called ‘Di Paolo Café’. What a super place: friendly staff, good food and drink and quite large inside so plenty of tables and chairs. It’s since been added to our Refreshment List.

This list now has over 40 cyclist friendly refreshment stops that the tourers are happy to use. Most are in Sussex but a few are in Kent and the Seine-Maritime department, just across the English Channel in France. This list may be of use to anyone who is planning a ride and looking for somewhere to stop for a rest and some nourishment.

Cyclists at the rather spooky Arlington Tea Garden

The first place on the Refreshment List is the Arlington Tea Garden which we’ve been stopping at for many years, often on a Thursday when returning to Exceat on our longer distance rides. It’s only about six miles back to the finish at the car park in Friston Forest. Thursday was no exception. We’d made good time and the sun was shining so we called in for a cuppa. We were impressed by the Halloween decorations.

All in all this had been a perfect autumn cycle ride: excellent weather for the time of year, great company and two super refreshment stops.

Happy cycling,


Pump Track at the Salts – latest update from Jon Younghusband.

I know you have all been waiting for an update on the pump track situation, there have been some interesting developments sine the Salts Rec meeting that many of you came along to.

The Salts project only has funding for a skate park and there is no scope or space to include a pump track within the design. However, Craig (Seaford County Council) was very keen on the idea of raising new funding for a pump track to be built in the NW corner over the pitch and putt. Unfortunately he has since left his position as the project manager. He has promised to put me in contact with his replacement in the next few weeks.

Slightly more promising: Yesterday I sat down with a Chris (Project Manager for Lewes County Council). Chris was responsible for the new skate park in Lewes and hopes to bring a similar sized skate park to Newhaven. He is looking at rejuvenating the skate park in Newhaven near the fort but he is really keen on incorporating a pump track in addition to the skate park (size is dependent on funding). Furthermore there is a much larger area available to use in Newhaven, roughly 1,850m2!

Chris attended a meeting with Newhaven Town Council last night and the Councillors unanimously supported the skatepark/pumptrack project. They committed £30,000 to the project, subject to additional funding coming in.

There is already a little funding in place and there are plenty of ideas for additional funding that are already in the pipeline. We are looking for some additional funding as it may be that we do a pump park that is integrated to the skate park too.

I also discussed the possibility for a lockup for Dr Bike, a training facility, workshop and bike wash. The PM was extremely keen on this idea but said that this would need to come from a separate ‘revenue’ funding source within the council and has given me the relevant contact details regarding this funding. This could potentially also be incorporated into CWA.

In order to secure funding we would need to prove that there is a demand for this. To help please could you give your thought on the following survey:

In terms of a time scale, we could start building early next year if we get the required funding.