CAMPAIGNERS calling for a town-wide network of cycle paths and walkways for pedestrians and cyclists across town have welcomed proposals by East Sussex County Council to introduce a similar set of routes.
Hastings Urban Bikes (HUB), together with Ramblers, launched the Greenway campaign in 2012 in conjunction with the Observer, with hundreds of people signing cut-out petitions that appeared in Observer editions.
The county council has produced a draft Walking and Cycling Strategy. Proposed routes include sections of the National Cycle Network with seafront links in the town centre, Old Town to Barley Lane and Barley Lane to Fairlight, Combe Valley to Silverhill, Silverhill to the Conquest Hospital, and Silverhill to the Ivyhouse Industrial Estate and The Hastings Academy,
Others include town centre links to Alexandra Park and Hastings Railway Station to Ore.
Ian Sier, spokesman for the Hastings Greenway Group, said: “The strategy is without doubt a very significant step forward for the important aim of creating a traffic-free network of urban cycling and walking routes in Hastings.
“Some of these routes will be true greenways, as they run through parks and designated green spaces.
“Other routes can be developed as greenways, such as the town centre link from Station Plaza to Alexandra Park and the College to College link.”
“The significance of the ‘greenway’ concept is to create an attractive route that is truly accessible for all ages and abilities.
“In the longer term, we will make the case for additional routes that utilise available green spaces, footpaths and bridleways and/or connect with the surrounding countryside, such as a very interesting scenic route to the Conquest Hospital and The Ridge and a route to access Hastings Country Park from Ore Village.
“We will actively support work to create greenways that the strategy routes plan will facilitate with an initial focus on the route through the Ore Valley.”
Tim Godwin, HUB chairman, said: “The route network in the strategy would create a new set of sustainable travel options for everyone in Hastings.
“It would allow, and encourage, travel by bike or on foot, to workplaces, schools and colleges, along with shopping and leisure, with all the associated health and environmental benefits that would bring.
“It would make cycling in Hastings safe, quick and satisfying for all age groups and for families and allow easy access to the popular coastal cycleway.
“This network of off-road cycle routes is arguably the most important community infrastructure project needed in Hastings and is long overdue.”
People can make comments on the county council’s new strategy online at https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/hastings-walking-and-cycling-strategy.
The consultation ends on Monday, February 17.