Alexandra Park cycle path plan still ‘progressing’

In October last year we asked East Sussex County Council (ESCC) about progress on the Alexandra Park cycle path they told us: “We are now working on detailed designs for this scheme and hope to be in a position to construct the new cycle route in spring or early summer next year (2019).”

A year has come and gone but there is still no sign of the cycle pat through the park that was first mooted in 2014 so this week we asked ESCC the same question a council spokesman told Hastings In Focus: “The cycle scheme for Alexandra Park is still progressing through the detailed design phase as per the recommendation to the lead member for transport and environment last year.

“It’s important that we carefully consider the types of materials to be used to ensure the route is safe for all users of the park while being sympathetic to the natural beauty of its surroundings, hence the need for a longer design timescale.

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ESCC is keen to ensure the cycle route will be safe for all park users.

“The design is now subject to a detailed design safety audit and once we have considered the results of the audit, we will need to advertise public notices to convert some footpaths to shared pedestrian and cycle routes.

“We expect this to happen early in the new year and for construction to take place in the summer.”

Councillor Godfrey Daniel, whose ward includes parts of the park and who raised a number of safety issues about the proposed cycle path said today: “I’m surprised that this project has taken so long and I am aware of differing public views regarding this scheme. I am glad that I have been able to influence the proposed route through our lovely park. I look forward to seeing the details of what will finally be proposed.”

At the same time ESCC is asking people to give their views on proposals to improve cycling and walking facilities in St Leonards.

East Sussex Highways has launched a consultation – including two public drop-in events – on the plans, which would affect roads running between Queensway and Sedlescombe Road South.

They include sections of shared cycling and pedestrian routes on pavements, cycle lanes on roads, upgrading pedestrian crossings and installing new road markings and signage.

The scheme is aimed at improving links between residential areas and key locations such as the town centre, seafront, employment areas and education, health and leisure facilities.

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Plans for the Alexandra Park cycle route were first mooted in 2014 as part of the Hastings Walking and Cycling Strategy

It forms part of a wider walking and cycling strategy for Hastings and St Leonards developed by East Sussex County Council and Hastings Borough Council.

An ESCC spokesman said: “Cycling and walking have huge benefits for people’s health and wellbeing, as well as improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions.

“These proposals are aimed at making it easier and safer for people to choose healthier, more environmentally-friendly options for their day-to-day journeys around town.

“It’s really important that we get people’s feedback on the specific proposals, so we can take their views into account before formulating any final plans.”

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, it’s hoped work on the scheme, funded by cash from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, would be completed next summer.

Residents can see the plans in person and find out more information at drop-in events at Four Courts Community Centre, in Sydney Close, on Friday, November 22 from 2pm to 6pm and Saturday, November 23 from 10am to 2pm.

People can also view the plans and comment before the deadline of Monday, December 11 online at www.eastsussexhighways.com/consultations

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