Our response to East Sussex County Council’s Transport Plan

We are pleased to note that ESCC is inching towards providing for a more sustainable transport system and endorse the vision and objectives set out in the Local Transport Plan.   We also recognise that an efficient sustainable transport system has the potential to improve the local economy and ease the impact of predicted steady price increases in fuel costs over the period to 2026.

Whilst we support the vision and objectives we do have some specific views on the Implementation Plan that are summarised below:

  1. Future needs.  It is too short term.  Whilst there is a need to deliver discrete projects in the short term a majority of schemes need to be part of a longer term plan, not just “local fixes”


  1. Programme of works in priority order.  In our view the Implementation Plan should contain a list of works in priority order that will be undertaken as money becomes available.  Currently the scheme prioritisation scheme is used on all outstanding schemes after a sum of money has been allocated each year.   This approach will inevitably result in a preoccupation with the immediate needs and demands.  We therefore suggest that a substantial proportion of funding each year is allocated towards the achievement of strategic, longer term improvements.


  1. Priority schemes.   Our list of priority schemes is:


    1. Safe cycle routes north from Seaford/Newhaven to Alfriston and Lewes.
    2. Completion of NC2 between Newhaven and Seaford, through Seaford and between Seaford and Exceat.
    3. Safe cycle route from Peacehaven to Lewes, via Hoddern farm.  This could join the proposed flat route cycle route along the Lower Ouse .
    4. Shared pedestrian/cycle access on Seaford promenade
    5. Improved cycle routes to schools
    6. 20mph speed limits in all central urban areas and at school locations
    7. Coherent cycle routes and improved cycle parking within both Seaford and Newhaven


  1. Scheme Prioritisation.   We understand a new appraisal scheme is to be used in future to decide on priorities for funding.  This scheme is not part of your consultation but we know that the weighting system that must be attached to the various factors will have a decisive impact upon the results.   We should therefore welcome the opportunity to look at the mechanism for this.  Once we have been able to do so, we will almost certainly wish to comment, if, for example, the health benefits of active travel are not adequately recognised


  1. Direct routes between communities.  Cycling has the ability to provide a real alternative form of transport for many more people, not just within the community in which they live but between communities.   Therefore good, direct, utility cycle routes between communities should be a priority.  For example in the Cycle Seahaven immediate area we would mention cycle links from Newhaven to Lewes and from Seaford to Eastbourne . 


  1. Cycle routes.  Cycle links need to be us all year around and suitable for all cycles, including road only machines.   As mentioned before, for utility use, the routes should be as direct as possible.   Where separate provision from motorised transport is not possible in the immediate future, minor low cost improvements to improve cycle safety should be undertaken whenever maintenance work or minor works are undertaken.  For example this may be as simple as in the form of extra signage to warn of cyclists (and pedestrians and equestrians) on bends


  1. South Downs National Park (SDNP).   Lewes and Newhaven are mentioned as gateways to the National Park. We would also like to see Seaford recognised as a major gateway for the SDNP, providing direct access to the Eastern Downs (North to Firle and Alfriston and Eastwards to Seaford Head and the Seven Sisters). Seaford is also the main access point for Friston Forest , in its own right one of the South East’s major off-road cycling venues, and the Cuckmere Estuary.  Ideally placed as the rail terminus for this part of the SDNP, recognition as a gateway would also accord with the District Council’s strategy to develop the tourist potential of Seaford .


Cycle strategy.  Finally we understand that you would find it helpful to have a cycle strategy for the local area.  We are happy to draft such a document and look forward to working with you to set the context for our priorities for cycling and its relationship with other forms of transport.

Cycle Seahaven.


The transport plan can be found here: http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/localtransportplan/default.htm

If you have any further comments to add then please contact us via our contacts page http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/contact/ with the subject “LTP3”



ESCC Meeting to discuss LSTF bids – 21 July 2011

As most members will be aware, various committee members from time to time represent the club, to campaign for improved cycling facilities in the Seahaven area.

Denis Bass (Treasurer) represented the club at a recent meeting with East Sussex County Council to discuss our priorities for possible funding from the LSTF (Local Sustainable Transport Fund). LSTF is a £560m pot of cash to be spent over 4 years on sutainable transport – walking, cycling, buses, trains, etc. More details here: LSTF

Denis focussed on the following areas of concern that would need funding to improve the facilities for cyclists in the Seahaven area.

1)  The development of the C7 cycle route, the use of the riverbank route and consideration for a cycle friendly route

2)   The need to improve the A259 Exceat hill was a high priority especially due to death and injury that has occurred over the past few years. Denis explained the clearance work Cycle Seahaven had already completed.

3)   The development of the Newhaven Centre to ensure the best route from the Ouse Estuary to a C7 route.

4)   Allow cycling on the promenade in Seaford

5)  Carry out improvements at Bishopstone Bridge by extending the cycle path from the promenade in Seaford to the Ouse estuary cycle path that proceeds to Newhaven.

6)  The need to improve the route from Gibbon Road, Newhaven to the NCN2 route at the east of Peacehaven.

7)  The need to improve the link at Saltdean through Rottingdean with Brighton.

8)  Consideration must be given to the implementation of Bike Racks on Buses. Denis commented that Brighton & Hove Buses would provide a good project from Brighton to Eastbourne.

9)  Increase the opportunity of taking Bikes on trains to and from the south coast.

We expect the results of the deliberations that will be taken by the ESCC to be to be known later this year. Watch this space, we are positive about getting some good results.

How they do it in France

Having just had 5 days of great cycling inBrittany, 85% of it on signed and very traffic-free routes I have a couple of pics that say a great deal about how cycling is treated by the authorities on opposite sides of the water.

The left  pic shows us on a canal towpath which has been very well set up for cyclists and they are actually sending a man on a tractor to sweep and re-grade the path. Anyone who has picked their way through the potholes and broken glass on a UK cycle path will be duly amazed. The right pic shows us on a section of the route using a B road – the sign indicates that the road is to be shared between cyclists and cars. Well there’s a novel idea!

If you are interested in the route you can find it here http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/guides/touring-driving/cycling-in-france/st-malo-cycle-route