From: Barry Jones, Burry Road, St Leonards
As someone who uses Alexandra Park to walk a dog, take refreshments in the café, take the grandchildren on the miniature railway and the play areas, watch the beauty of the champion trees (an expression meaning fully grown and top quality) as well as the wildlife in abundance, I am so grateful for the quality of life that the park gives the people of Hastings.
It is available to all, and thankfully it has become popular in recent years after a long time of neglect. Not the neglect of the council, but of the local residents.
Having been given a new lease of life some years ago, it has been opened up and made safer and more attractive to local families.
Every time I walk through the wilder and woodier area and on to the cultivated formal area, I see families together, friends meeting up and people just talking. They are all enjoying the facility which takes them away from the bustle of the roads and shops. The numbers of folk using the park have grown, but the peace and beauty remains the same.
Although the number of joggers/runners has increased, the pathways are sufficient to cater for them to co-exist with walkers. There are a few bad apples who do not make way for others, especially when running in pairs, but that is just rudeness and shows them up as arrogant pests, but the main bulk of runners are considerate towards others.
I do, however, foresee major problems with cyclists. I am fully aware that, as usual, this will happen even though the ESCC has to go through the “consultations” that local governments use as a method of getting the public used to an idea, but perhaps the arguments will get through.
I have to question the need of people to zoom through an area of such beauty at speed in the first place. Because of the pleasure the park gives, the pavement running alongside is rarely used, and would be of little inconvenience if that was used as a cycle path.
Cycle paths appear to give license for cyclists to disregard the implicit rules of human interaction which give consideration to others.
I can guarantee that there will be incidents of dogs, who are unable to read, straying into the path of cycles. This is not neglect on the part of the owners, but the fact that people are used to looking at what the environment is providing them and not rigidly following signs.
As far as I am aware, the current rules ban cyclists from the park, but there are enough of them shooting past each time I go for a walk to decide that the tolerances they leave when passing dogs, children and the elderly show their disinclination to use the park for anything other than a fast shortcut, and they have no interest in the beauty of this wonderful facility.