Readers of your paper last week might have thought that cyclists in Lewes were getting a great deal. But I’m afraid that this is not the case.
The brand new Kingston cycle route comes no nearer Lewes than the Stanley Turner ground, the Ringmer cycle route still finishes half way to Lewes and main cycle route planned to run through the town still stops at the edges. The county council has told me that money allocated to improve cycling in Lewes town is actually being spent on a bridleway between Woodingdean and Falmer!
The £250k spent on a “new cycle hub for Lewes station” is actually public money being spent to move the existing cycle shed to a less secure location under the road bridge so that Southern can install ticket barriers on the site of the existing one.
There is no point in trying to get people out of cars and on to bikes if their experience is mixing it with the traffic on Station Street hill, or trying to work out how to get from the Station to the Cliffe, or trying to negotiate one of the cycle-unfriendly mini-roundabouts, or if no one can point out to them the easiest way to get from the bottom of the town to the top, or they have to mix it with resentful pedestrians on the badly signed and planned Cliffe high street contraflow.
There is supposed to be a whole lot of signage for cycle routes through the town going up, but the county council cannot say where they will go! Taxpayers are rightly angry if they see facilities provided that are not being used, but a little more thought and a little less hype is needed if we are going to make Lewes a cycle friendly town.