Pedal power for the South Downs due to cycle funding boost

Picture by Barbara Woods
Picture by Barbara Woods

A funding boost for cycling looks set to benefit visitors and residents in the South Downs National Park.

The Government’s announcement to invest £62m in cycling in England was welcomed by the South Downs National Park Authority.

The announcement, made on Wednesday January 30, includes a fund of £12m in potential funding for rural areas covered by National Parks and will be made available to local authorities working in partnership with National Parks.

Chief executive for the South Downs National Park Authority, Trevor Beattie, said: “There is huge potential to improve cycle routes across the South Downs National Park and we are very excited about the opportunity this fund presents to create new and safer routes, both for commuters and people cycling for pleasure.

“Situated in the most populous area of England and as the closest National Park to London we are keen to encourage greater use of both public and sustainable transport to and within the South Downs National Park.

“We will be working closely in partnership with Sustrans, local highways authorities and other groups and organisations to take full advantage of this new funding.”

Transport minister and Lewes MP Norman Baker announced details of a £62m investment in cycling on Wednesday January 30 in the largest ever allocation of funding for cycling to date.

The funding is designed to make travelling on two wheels more attractive for people throughout England.

As part of the funding, Lewes Station will receive a brand new £250,000 cycle hub for 200 bikes, including maintenance and repair facilities.

Eastbourne Station will benefit from a £300,000 cycle hub for up to 250 bikes including a maintenance and repair facility.

Over the last 12 months the government has announced £107m will be made available for cycling during this Parliament.

This is just one of a number of recent good news stories for cyclists in East Sussex.

This week it was announced by East Sussex County Council that the Kingston to Lewes cyclepath had been given funding and could be ready as early as April.

Last year the A27 cyclepath between Lewes and Firle was completed.

And the cyclepath between Falmer and Lewes Road, Brighton, is currently under construction.

It is currently causing a lot of delays for drivers, but hopes are high when finished the bus and cycle lane will encourage more people to cycle to work.

But drivers have expressed concerns reducing the road to one lane will lead to congestion, based on the affect of the roadworks, which have also reduced Lewes Road to a single lane.