Lottery cash to help get locals riding

Patrick Nicholson (right) of HUB on the prom doing free bike checks as part of the America Ground festival
Patrick Nicholson (right) of HUB on the prom doing free bike checks as part of the America Ground festival

A CYCLE group has been given just under £10,000 to promote bike riding here in 1066 Country.

Hastings Urban Bikes (HUB) received £9,600 from the Big Lottery Fund to help pave the way the forthcoming cycle route linking the town with nearby Bexhill.

The coastal bike path is due to open later this year - complete with a halfway bench featuring a trio of local personalities.

Money for the link-up came from a successful lottery bid by Sustrans, a body which coordinates cycle networks across the country.

And with that in place HUB has been given a war chest to encourage more locals to ditch the car in favour of its two-wheeled cousin.

Plans are already afoot for a range of activities, including bike maintenance sessions, group rides, bike-themed film screenings and cycle mechanics workshops.

And HUB will also be joining the From Pier to Eternity illuminated bike right which is taking place in September as part of the town’s annual Coastal Currents arts festival.

Patrick Nicholson from HUB, who was at the America Ground festival on Sunday doing free bike checks (pictured), said: “The St Leonards Bexhill bike link, together with the new Stade route, represent major improvements for both commuting and leisure cyclists.

“We have a long way to go, but this grant will help us achieve real changes in the profile and take-up of cycling in the town, and that means widespread benefits in terms of health improvements, less road congestion and a cleaner environment.”

Hastings Borough Council hopes that by making improvements to the town centre cycle routes, locals will be able to ride all the way from the Old Town to central Bexhill.

And, with the Jerwood Gallery set to open in the next few months, tourism chiefs are visualising a direct route from that gallery to Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion.