THE campaign to get a town-wide network of cycle paths and walkways for pedestrians and cyclists has received a boost.
A new network of proposed walking and cycling routes have been included in the council’s draft Development Management Plan, which is being discussed at a cabinet meeting on Monday. Hastings Urban Bikes (HUB) and the local branch of Ramblers said it goes a long way to promoting their campaign for a Hastings Greenway.
Mike Riley, Ramblers Local Footpath secretary, said: “These routes have been taken from a study of potential safe pedestrian and cycle ways, running from Hastings town centre, that Nick Hanna from HUB and I researched for the council in 2008. They closely follow the Greenway network, that we are now campaigning for, and are a very important part of the process to realise this very popular sustainable travel project which, on completion, will provide safe, green and healthy travel links within the town, but also access to the wider network of footpaths and bridleways adjacent to it.”
Once the new Hastings Local Plan is adopted, the routes will be given formal status. Any new developments on or near them will need to include these sections in the plans. Although they are designated as cycle routes they will be accessible to pedestrians and people with disabilities.
Gordon Russell, chairman of HUB, said: “This is really good news for cyclists, walkers and anyone who wants to travel sustainably. It will help to move the Greenway project on. The cycle routes also include a very valuable section from the Old Town to Fairlight that is almost entirely away from traffic and will provide a fantastic leisure opportunity for a cycle ride along the top of the country park for people, including families and children, to cycle in safety. It will also give wheelchair users access across the country park.”
The Observer launched its campaign for a Hastings Greenway in April, which is being spearheaded by HUB and walkers’ charity Ramblers. More than 300 people voiced their support by signing copies of the cut-out petition that featured in the Observer. HUB set up an online petition in August, which now has more than 200 signatures.
Representatives from Hastings Urban Bikes (HUB) met with Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council, with the latter agreeing to start working on potential links as early as next March.
For more information visit www.hastingsurbanbikes.org to sign the online petition.