A delayed safety audit report is holding up plans for a new cycle and pedestrian greenway through Alexandra Park, it has been revealed.
East Sussex County Council’s (ESCC) proposal for a shared cycle path through the park was given the green light by Hastings Borough Council in January this year.
But there appears to have been little progress on the project, with campaigners calling for action.
Becky Polain, secretary of Hastings Greenway Group, said: “What many might not realise is the route through Alexandra Park is part of a much wider proposed network of routes or ‘greenways’.
“From Silverhill the route will go on to eventually meet up with the recently completed greenway alongside the Link Road to Bexhill, and once planning and other issues are sorted out there will be a link through the town centre to the seafront.
“Eventually there will be a complete network serving the whole town which will be available for walkers, people using buggies, mobility scooters, wheelchairs, and cyclists. This forms part of proposals to encourage people to use methods of transport not harmful to the environment and also encourages healthy activity at the same time.
“The problem is that all has gone quiet! After taking the decision in January no more has happened despite promising the new route for autumn 2016. Questions have been asked of Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council but to-date no response has been forthcoming.
“We call on Hastings Borough Council to honour its commitment to establish this route.
“It is an important section of the proposed Hastings Greenway network and will encourage a wider group of people to use the park and its facilities.”
Cllr Warren Davies, Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for environment, said: “East Sussex County Council are managing and funding this project. We are currently awaiting the results of their safety audit report which has been delayed until the end of September; they wish to monitor the safety of the route in more detail.
“Once this report has been completed we expect East Sussex County Council to supply us with the final designs and a completion timetable.”
An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We are working in partnership with Hastings Borough Council to develop proposals for a shared cycle/pedestrian route through Alexandra Park.
“As this is a registered park which has been given a Grade II status, formal consent must be sought from Heritage England before any changes are made.
“The scheme design must take into account the safety needs of all users while ensuring that any change or addition is in keeping with the current appearance of the park.
“A safety audit has raised the potential issue of a lack of street lighting, and we will shortly be carrying out a survey to monitor the current use of the park by cyclists and pedestrians in the evenings.
“Once a design has been agreed by Hastings Borough Council, the authority will need to submit proposals to Heritage England for formal approval.
“An approved design will then be presented to the county council’s lead member recommending that officers draw up detailed designs and implement the scheme.”
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