Rally in support of Hastings cycle route plans in Alexandra Park to be held

A rally is being held this weekend in support of proposals for a shared cycle path in Alexandra Park.

Hastings Urban Bikes and Hastings Greenway Group have organised the event, which will take place on Saturday (June 25) from 2.30pm at the bandstand in the park.

The groups said this will be a chance for people to find out more about the proposed route, which they said has been in the Local Plan since 2014 and was approved unanimously by Hastings Borough Council’s Cabinet in 2017.

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Both groups said the proposals would allow cycling on just one route through the park, leaving the rest of the paths pedestrian only.

Members of Hastings Urban Bikes and Hastings Greenway Group at their last rally

Ian Sier, of Hastings Urban Bikes, said: “This route is an essential section at the heart of a proposed cycling network for Hastings.

"Enabling cycling though Alexandra Park would allow families and children to cycle in safety together, along with less confident cyclists, for health and leisure. It will provide a safe route for people to cycle to work and for children to cycle to school.

"We have a health and obesity crisis in Hastings and recent research by Address Pollution.org shows air quality on the roads around the park are in the 76th highest percentile for the UK and most of that is caused by motor traffic.

"We have to reduce car use to address the climate emergency and providing safe cycling routes is one way to do that.”

Hastings Urban Bikes and Hastings Greenway Group said the proposed route has been through a long process of design, safety audits and redesign by the county council’s transport department and other specialists.

The groups said this included consideration and rejection of the two alternative routes up Lower Park Road and St Helen’s Road both on safety grounds and due to the fact that many trees and parking places would need to be removed.

Two protests against the plans have been held in Alexandra Park in recent weeks, the second one being on June 11.

Plans for the cycle path were first revealed earlier this year and an initial protest went ahead in May after they were given the green light by the county council.

Those who oppose the path claim it would provoke ‘inevitable’ conflict between the two groups and disadvantage those with mobility difficulties.