Need for route is underestimated

Hastings Observer letters
Hastings Observer letters

From: Tim Godwin, Wellington Square, Hastings

With regards to your correspondent in last week’s edition, writing about the Alexandra Park shared use cycle path and safety.

The shared use path is a key component of the Hastings Walking and Cycling strategy as adopted by Hastings Council in May 2014. This strategy needs implementing to provide safe routes for cyclists and walkers to get around our town.

Hastings Urban Bikes, Hastings Greenway Group, Transition Town Hastings, 1066 Cycle Club and Rother Ramblers, together organised a protest event in November last year to emphasise this, and to call attention to the lack of progress.

Since that first event three other walks and rides have been organised, each of which have attracted over 40 attendees.

In the last 10 years, on only the four roads that surround the lower park, a distance of just over one mile, there have been almost 20 incidents of pedestrians and cyclists becoming the victims of motor vehicles.

This pattern is repeated across Hastings and St Leonards, our town has appalling infrastructure for walking and cycling.

With the recent tragic collisions, reported in this newspaper, highlighting once again how vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists are to vehicle traffic, the need for safe routes to enable healthy and active travel is emphasised.

A third of year six children in Hastings are overweight, the long term consequences of physical inactivity for the local population should not be underestimated.

The seafront cycle route, which is a shared use path for much of its length, has had no reported incidents between cyclists and pedestrians since it opened in 2012.

This route has over 80,000 cycle users annually.

It is worth noting that locally, Eastbourne, Brighton, Hove, Seaford, Newhaven and Ashford all have shared use paths that run though parkland.

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