A27 East of Lewes – Cycle Seahaven reposnse

The consultation for the improvements to the A27 is now closed (on 8th Dec 2016). Cycle Seahaven responded to the consultation to ensure that non-motorised traffic could safely use and cross this main highway.

The summary of our response based on feedback from members, committee and Cycle East Sussex is:

Many of our club rides make use of the extensive network of bridleways on both sides of the A27 necessitating in the need to cross this busy road to continue to the villages, roads and bridleways on the other side. There are some particular crossings where we would like to see such cycling provision: Firle; Middle farm; Selmeston; Drusillas; Wilmington. Without such crossing points there is a real risk  to cyclists, pedestrians and drivers because individuals often have to dash across the road or risk hovering half way waiting for a break in the opposing traffic. Whilst we understand that traffic needs to flow freely we would argue without safe crossing points communities are segregated and people excluded from visiting areas they would choose to go. Central reservations help but on a fast flowing road like the A27 the risk to novice riders, children, less able pedestrians and mobility scooters is significant and any collision is likely to have a very serious impact on traffic flow (as recent road closures have demonstrated). Ideally, controlled crossings would be installed at the locations mentioned above because, in our view, they would provide the following benefits for ALL road users:

  1.  Safety would be improved for drivers of vehicles, pedestrians and cycle users as the risk of serious collision would be greatly reduced. The risk of major traffic congestion or the closing of the A27 as a result of a collision is  also significantly less.
  2. Communities and vulnerable people would be less segregated with greater benefits for tourists and visitors to East Sussex (cycle and pedestrian links to tourist attractions such as Drusillas, Middle farm, South Downs Way, Rail services, etc)
  3. Pedestrian crossings operate on an on demand basis and only restrict the free flow of traffic when there is a need to do so. The majority of the time vehicle users would be unhampered by their operation.
  4. Improved linking of existing cycle routes on both sides of the A27 building on the investment already made by the county to improve health, reduce pollution, etc.

To read our full and detailed response you can download a copy here: Our response

Our original news entry on these proposals was posted here: A27 East of Lewes – infrastructure schemes

A27 East of Lewes – infrastructure schemes

Highways England (used to be Highways Agency) are consulting on improving access along the A27 between Lewes and Polegate. All of these schemes appear to include better cycling provision. Cycle Seahaven often runs club rides that need to cross the A27, so this could be great news for both our Road and MTB cyclists, but the devil is in the detail. The cycle provision appears to favour cyclists going along the A27. But if you want to make use of the pedestrian/cycle paths while crossing the busy main road (for example with kids or the less able, with cycle trailers or part of a larger organise ride), the proposals do little to help.
For example:

  • All the crossings state ‘Pedestrian Crossing’, rather than pedestrian/cycle crossing
  • Turning right by bicycle onto the A27 is expected to be done by road, rather than on the shared path. This is evident by the lack of crossings along the minor roads to get onto the walking/cycle paths on the other side of the minor road.
  • Cycle routes are cut short where one exists on the other side of the road at junctions. Short sections of cycle path are required as waiting zones when crossing onto the shared paths, or to facilitate quicker and safer crossings.

The consultation documents are not easy to read on-screen: the photographic overlays and lists of objectives/benefits are awkwardly split across two pages. However, the large 19Mb download of the Consultation Displays are easier to read on a PC screen.  You’ll need to refer to these when filling out the survey, which we urge you to look at.

Cycle Seahaven would also like to see better provision for cyclists to get to these new cycle lanes, for example along the Alfriston Road to Berwick (part of national Cycle Route 2, Avenue Verte, and links the zoo park and Berwick rail station to Litlington and Alfriston). Unfortunately this is outside the scope of the A27 proposals, but once they are completed the case for better access to the A27 is greatly enhanced. This is why we need to ensure that the infrastructure for cyclists joining and leaving the A27 is already put in place, ready for later improvements to allow cyclists to reach these main routes form our villages and towns.

There are still some consultation exhibitions that can be visited by the public:

  • 23rd Nov: Eastbourne – William and Patricia Venton Centre – noon to 7pm
  • 26th Nov: Berwick – Village Hall – 10am to 2pm
  • 28th Nov: Lewes – Town Council – noon to 7pm
  • 29th Nov: Lewes – Town Council – noon to 7pm

More details and the online survey can be found here: https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/a27-east-of-lewes/

This consultation closes on 8th December 2016.

*** UPDATE ***
The proposed schemes have been published. For full information follow the link to our page at http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/a27e2/

 

Save Preston Park Cycle Track

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

Save PPCT Poster

Save PPCT Poster

Report on Meeting of Piddinghoe Parish Council – 14th July 2015

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

 Tony Rowswell


Supporting documents for download:

Piddinghoe Parish Council Agenda 14Jul2015

Residents Letter to Piddinghoe PC (not sent)

OVCN response to PPC

Related articles:

Phase 1 completion (Kingston – Lewes)

Phase 2 completion (Southease – Rodmell)

Southease to Deans Farm gets the go ahead

Planning approval documents (SDNPA site)

EGRETS WAY Statement from the SDNPA

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’.

Peacehaven Cycle Route Ideas pt.2

Further to our previous post asking for ideas on routes around Peacehaven we’ve come up with a draft map as a way of keeping track.

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/

 

Valley Road Development

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

 

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.

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.