Ferry Saved

Since posting an item on the blog a week ago ‘Last Chance to Channel Hop to Dieppe’ it’s been announced this week that the Newhaven – Dieppe crossing will continue after the end of this year. That’s good news for Newhaven and the people who work on the ferry; also it maintains the vital sea link in the Avenue Verte cycle route between London and Paris.

The Syndicat Mixte de Promotion de l’Activité Transmanche (SMPAT) will run the service from 1 January 2016. (The SMPAT is comprised of the Departement de Seine-Maritime, the city authorities in Dieppe and Dieppe Chamber of Commerce). It says that it will continue to subsidise the route, but in the long-term is seeking to reduce the cost to the French taxpayer by attracting more investment from external partners.

The two vessels serving the route will be rebranded, but DFDS will continue to handle bookings and marketing until the end of March 2016, to ensure a smooth transition.

So, although there may not be the same urgency to hop across the Channel, an Autumn cycling break based in Dieppe still sounds like a good idea.

Happy sailing,


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: 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:


The Big Pedal 2 – Ride Report 31st January 2015

On Saturday 31st January The Big Park project organised two cycle rides to help promote the amazing work that’s going on in Peacehaven’s Big Park. Cycle Seahaven were only too happy to help with the ‘Intermediate’ ride, and Sustrans led the ‘Family’ ride.

At ten past eleven we ran a headcount and a briefing of the ride before 17 riders of all ages set off from The Big Park for the intermediate ride. The rain had eased off while we rode towards Newhaven using the quiet roads on the designated cycle route along Arundel Road. At the junction of the A259 we all crossed over the main road and headed up The Highway past Rushey Hill caravan park. This is quite a climb so we all stopped at the top to get our breath back. After a short break we headed left down Upper Valley Road, across the main road, and down into Meeching Valley –  a lovely fast descent to reward our earlier climb. The quiet residential streets along Valley Road took us towards Lewes Road Recreation Grounds and onto the beginning of the Egrets Way by Robinson Road. The river banks were very muddy and hard work for part of the route, but the scenery was stunning. The rain was still holding off and it was good to get onto the tarmac road at Southease. The original plan was to continue on the Egrets Way to Rodmell, but the tough conditions meant we had to cut the ride short and take the more direct road route. The easy, flat road was a joy to ride on after the muddy river banks, but it soon started its climb out of the valley and up Gorhams Lane to Telscombe Village, crossing the C7 on the way. This is almost 300 feet of climbing in a mile and a half, so when we got to the top we were certainly ready for a rest before the final descent to Telscombe Village for our free lunch. And what a lunch! Hot dogs, pizza, bread & cheese, soup, sausage rolls and hot & cold drinks. The Big Parks team had done us proud.

After our 8-mile ride and hearty lunch we rode with the Family group on the 3mile route back to the Big Park. Another fantastic free day out courtesy of The Big Park, Sustrans and Cycle Seahaven.

We look forward to supporting the next ride for the Big Park opening day on March 7th 2015. More details will soon be posted on our website and on our online calendar.

Jim's not too sure about his decision to ride on the lower banks

Jim’s not too sure about his decision to ride on the lower banks

Chris, Dave, Joanne, Lesley, Joseph, Steve, Lynn and Paul on the upper banks

Chris, Dave, Joanne, Lesley, Joseph, Steve, Lynn and Paul on the upper banks

Tobias, Alfie, Ricki & Kate on the lower banks

Tobias, Alfie, Ricki & Kate on the lower banks

Stopping for a rest on Gorhams Lane, 10 minutes form the finish.

Stopping for a rest on Gorhams Lane, 10 minutes from the finish.

Parker Pen Site Development

A Planning proposal has been added for 145 homes on the old Parker Pen Site. There are further plans on the drawing board for substantially more houses on the adjoining Eastside. Cycle Seahaven are always keen to see if local development correctly considers the needs of people who choose to make journeys by bicycle, so we have looked at the plans and have come to some initial conclusions

The online Access Statement mentions cycle parking spaces: “1 secure cycle space per 2 bed house and 1 & 2 bed flats are proposed. 2 secure spaces per 3 & 4 bed house are also proposed. Additional spaces for visitors will be provided at the entrances to the flats in the form of ‘Sheffield’ type hoops.”. Very encouraging so far.

The Transport Assessment states that the development will aim “To give priority to safe movement and access by pedestrians, cyclists and public transport” and “2.4.7  Policy  T7 –  Provision  for  Cyclists  states  that  ‘the  District  Council  will  seek, where  appropriate,  cycle  routes,  cycle  priority  measures  and  secure  cycle parking to be provided as a part of new development.”  However, the same document goes on to state “5.3.6  Cycle access will be available on carriageway on the onsite streets as is the case for  the  surrounding  streets. No segregated cycleways or shared cycle footways are proposed.”.

Sharing the road with cars is a given, so were are unsure how the above lack of specific cycleways equates to how the Concept Master Plan will achieve: “additional pedestrian and cycle links through the site…”, or how this gives priority for cycles.

The planners are likely to point to the Travel Demand (Section 6 of the Transport Assessment), where cycling has a pretty low predicted 96 journeys per week. But, if there were dedicated cycle lanes between this development the local schools, shops, surgeries, businesses and churches then cycle take-up would be much higher. Also consider the newly proposed University Technical College and the expansion of Newhaven Growth Quarter on Denton Island. Factor in the new Egrets Way walking/cycle route to Lewes and the Ouse Estuary Trail to Seaford, there are lots of places that can be connected by bike, all on level ground and all very easily accessible by bike, scooter or disability chair.

You can find the planning application by clicking HERE and searching for  LW/14/0188

We look forward to your comments before requesting further clarification from the planners. Please use the comments box below or our Contacts page if you wish to remain anonymous.


Newhaven NCN2 changes

It was brought the attention of Cycle Seahaven that National Cycle Route 2 (NCN2) through Newhaven has seen some rather odd signage changes recently. Instead of following the shared path from the Ouse Estuary Trail (OET) and along to B&Q, riders are now directed to the Sainsbury’s side of the road. This rather unneccessary detour requires 8 additional road crossings (four roads with crossing islands). Also, when going to Seaford from Newhaven riders are directed onto the A259 rather than onto the specially built cycle-friendly crossing to join up with the OET. We have raised this issue with our local Sustrans representative who has forwarded it onto East Sussex County Council.

For safety reasons we suggest you consider continuing to use the old route to avoid crossing in front of the very busy entrance to the supermarket/petrol sation/pub-hotel. The old route is still fully signposted as a shared, cycle-friendly route.

Cyclists Dismount signs are advisory. If it is safe to do so then you can continue without dismounting. These blue signs are different to the circular white signs with a red border – No Cycling – which are obligatory and enforcable by law.

New NCN2 Newhaven Which side would you rather negotiate?