There is no need to make a route

I am disappointed that yet again the bike route lobby want the park as part of their vehicle routes (Proposal for new greenway, June 12).

Hastings Council is opening it up to consultation – although their dismal record of noting or even considering public responses to consultation does not inspire confidence.

There is no need to make the park a route for through vehicles of any kind.

There is Lower Park Road alongside, and Dordrecht Way across the middle of the park, both of which are quiet and highly suitable for bikes.

I ride a bike as well as walking a lot, and I would never want to ride through the park itself because of the conflict with park users, who are not going anywhere in particular – using the park as it should be used. The park is for people to relax away from traffic!

Have the route planners not looked at how people are using the park?

There are lots of dogs, many on long leads, which are a hazard. The main paths are also used by many families with young children, often on little scooters and mini-bikes who are having a few problems with keeping to a straight line, turning or stopping – which is how you learn to ride a bike in the first place. Through traffic for adults is the last thing they need.

On the odd occasion when a Lycra-clad cyclist does use the park it has a chilling effect on park users because there is uncertainty about whether he (rarely she) is going to give way, or expect other people to step aside.

There is now a claim that making the park a through route will bring more people in. Well yes – but it will drive more people out, because it will no longer be as safe.

The atmosphere will also change if we all have to look out for cyclists whizzing past.

And with the through cyclists will come the wheelie boys and skateboarders, attracted especially to the many steep slopes in the park. How are the lovely rangers supposed to allow one type and stop the others? They can’t.

All of this is supposed to be for a “cycling and walking” shared-use strategy based on very dubious claims that there is never any conflict between the two uses.

Not so: many local authorities are starting to restrict cycling on important pedestrian routes, including parks, and clamping down on cycling on pavements.

Hastings and East Sussex need to catch up. On your bikes!

Barbara Rogers

Wellington Road


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