HASTINGS Urban Bikes (HUB) welcomes the opening of the new route, the Bulverhythe Link, between Glyne Gap and St Leonards, jointly funded by Sustran’s Lottery bid and East Sussex County Council.
It is already being well used by cyclists and pedestrians delighted to have the opportunity to cycle and walk away from traffic, on a firm surface rather than loose shingle.
This relatively inexpensive and cost effective project makes a huge contribution to active leisure and fitness opportunities.
It provides an environmentally sustainable, free, safe and quick means of travel between the towns for work, education and so on for cyclists of all ages and abilities.
It is certain to lead to a large increase in cycling for families, children and older people and we know many people have been waiting for this with great enthusiasm.
The report in last week’s Observer did not, however, recognise any of this or the key role that HUB and local cyclists, including the Bexhill cycling groups, played in generating a large volume of community support for the project and the Lottery bid.
This was demonstrated by a gathering of more than 500 cyclists of all ages at Glyne Gap in September 2007.
Instead it was soured by a very negative and one-sided article that focused on an unfortunate accident, involving a reckless cyclist and the view of another cyclist who does not like the path surface.
HUB members recognise that there are a number of careless cyclists who ride too fast and do not pay proper attention to pedestrians. HUB has adopted and promotes a Considerate Cycling Code and support measures to make cycling safer for both cyclists and pedestrians alike.
The accident happened at a junction of two cycle and walking routes and we will be talking to the county council about steps that can be taken to make this point safer.
As to the surface, Netpave is far more environmentally acceptable than pouring vast quantities of concrete or tarmac onto what is, after all, the beach.
In addition it will purposely cut down the speed of cyclists on a path that is to be shared equally by all.
For those cyclists that need, or wish, to travel at speed, either along this new link or on the existing promenade cycle lane, there is the road.
Hastings Urban Bikes (HUB)