HASTINGS Urban Bikes (HUB) has welcomed councillors’ unanimous decision to approve the Hastings Walking and Cycling Strategy and routes network at the council cabinet meeting on Monday (June 9).
The borough council has agreed to support the provision of new and enhanced cycle routes, which includes Coastal National Cycle Network (NCN2), Combe Valley to Alexandra Park via Silverhill, Alexandra Park to Conquest Hospital, Alexandra Park to Ivyhouse Lane Industrial Estate and Hastings Academy, and the town centre to Alexandra Park.
HUB says the strategy would yield enormous benefits, providing sustainable travel opportunities by bike or on foot for journeys to work and school, and for shopping and leisure, making cycling and walking in Hastings safe.
Ian Sier, spokesman for HUB, said: “This is arguably the most important community infrastructure project for Hastings and is long overdue. Hastings has a very difficult and dangerous road system for cycling that is stopping many people from using this environmentally friendly and healthy travel option.
“The routes in the Walking and Cycling Strategy, which are very similar to the Hastings Greenway plan, could completely transform the way that people travel in Hastings as has been the case in many other towns with good cycling and walking routes.
During the meeting, while all cabinet members agreed to adopt the strategy, some councillors emphasised the importance of consulting residents, especially in areas where there could be potential conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, such as Alexandra Park.
Cllr Emily Westley said: “I think it is important that this strategy happens for the whole borough but it is vital however that we consult residents and Friends of Alexandra Park. We have got to make sure that we take on board the comments of our residents.”
Other councillors also stressed the importance of looking at funding options and making the strategy more than just an ‘aspirational document’.
Mr Sier added: “We are very keen to work with the local authorities and other voluntary organisations and community groups to secure the necessary funding but it will require a much more proactive approach than we have seen in recent years.” For more information about Hastings Urban Bikes visit www.hastingsurbanbikes.org.