Government’s cycling plan falls short say local groups

Cycle groups in Hastings and Rother have reacted to the Government’s publication of its Cycling Delivery Plan, claiming it does not go far enough.

Speaking on behalf of Hastings Urban Bikes (HUB) and Hastings Greenway Group, Ian Sier said they welcome the publication of the Cycling Delivery Plan (CDP) - which encompasses: Vision, Infrastructure, Funding and Safety - as another step forward towards creating the necessary conditions to encourage more people to travel by bike and on foot, but more is needed.

He said: “Although some cycling groups do not think it goes far enough in terms of Government funding it does call for a more meaningful local authority commitment to creating the necessary conditions to make cycling safer and encourage more journeys on foot or by bike. In Hastings the level of cycling is way below the East Sussex average due to dangerous and difficult roads and junctions.”

Ian Hollidge, from Bexhill Wheelers, said the CDP is the Government’s vision to make walking and cycling the natural choice for shorter journeys. “Fifty five per cent of car journeys are under 5 miles - trips which could be made by public transport, walked or cycled; making these ways of travel easier encourages people to leave their car at home.”

Ian says to achieve this, more funding has to be made available., adding:“There has been success with the Local Sustainable Transport Fund bids, in the next few years these changes will be seen with Bike It, Bikeability and Cycle Hubs.”

HUB said it was ‘very disappointed’ with East Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne’s statement (see page 18) suggesting that cyclists should wear some kind of identification to allow them to be prosecuted more easily should they commit a Road Traffic offence. “HUB does not condone anti-social cycling, but this measure would be unjustified, impractical, expensive, unenforceable and would have no impact on reducing the number of cyclists’ injuries on our roads. Cars and lorries carry number plates but there is widespread breaking of speed limits, anti-social aggressive driving and downright dangerous driving.”