Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Greenway supporters prepare to take the Ore Valley route (photo: Sid Saunders).

Greenway supporters prepare to take the Ore Valley route (photo: Sid Saunders).

Greenway adherents to tackle western leg

It’s Hastings Greenway Group’s mid summer walk this Saturday, from Silverhill to the western end of the proposed Hastings network. Meanwhile, East Sussex County Council have confirmed that construction of the greenway route through Alexandra Park is due to start next year. Nick Terdre reports.

Having walked the Ore valley route of the greenway network in May, Hastings Greenway Group will now tackle the western end with a walk on Saturday 23rd. Starting outside the Asda cafe in Silverhill at 1.30pm, the route will first take walkers and cyclists along Ponswood Road and Menzies Road, then along Stonehouse Drive and north up Wishing Tree Road.

It then turns west along Church Wood Drive, along Highfield Drive and into Mayfield Lane. The final section is along Crowhurst Road to the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road, now known as Combe Valley Way.

Park section rerouted

Meanwhile at a meeting this week East Sussex County Council decided to move ahead with the detailed design and construction of the cycle route through Alexandra Park. However, after a review it has decided in favour of a route wholly contained within the park, rather than a shared cyclist and pedestrian route along St Helen’s Road outside the park as proposed by Cllr Godfrey Daniel.

HGG has received a reply from ESCC to the letter it sent in April protesting against the removal of £3 million originally allocated to a walking and cycling package in Hastings and Bexhill to help cover cost overruns on Sea Change Sussex’s Queensway Gateway and the North Bexhill Access road projects.

ESCC justified the move on the grounds that a quantified risk assessment had shown that the original package could be retained despite the funding cut.

Three sections under development

The letter, from the team manager for Strategic Economic Infrastructure in the Economic Development, Skills and Infrastructure Service, also confirms HGG’s claim that only three walking and cycling routes are currently being developed by the county council: from the link road to Silverhill, through Alexandra Park and the on-road section from Alexandra Park to the Conquest Hospital.

HGG had also questioned what had happened to the Section 106 funds collected in connection with the construction of the Asda supermarket in Silverhill. According to ESCC, these monies, worth nearly £50,000, are still earmarked for the building of the cycle route in the upper part of Alexandra Park, while the route in the lower part of the park will be financed through an allocation from the government’s Local Growth Fund.

“The aim is for construction to commence in early 2019,” the letter says.

Posted 19:50 Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018 In: Campaigns


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  1. Hastings Greenway Group

    Thank you Hastings online Times for your continuing support. We have the poorest cycling provision of any of the south coast towns and we are making slow but steady progress…despite ESCC stealing most of the Hastings Walking and Cycling budget to fund their overspeand on the Gateway project.
    People should not take any notice of the misguided comments regarding the Alexandra Park route.

    Comment by Hastings Greenway Group — Sunday, Jul 1, 2018 @ 13:27

  2. Herbert Jonas

    The Alexandra Park news is fantastic! Finally! This town needs safer routes for cyclists!

    Comment by Herbert Jonas — Thursday, Jun 28, 2018 @ 15:45

  3. S Archer

    Progress… possibly. Thanks to the Greenway group for battling on.

    Comment by S Archer — Monday, Jun 25, 2018 @ 09:31

  4. Bea

    The route through Alexandra Park is controversial, to say the least. The new options put forward by the County Council would involve “high-risk” crossing points involving pedestrians, devious routes to avoid certain areas, widening of existing paths and destruction of quite a lot of trees and other vegetation especially in the wilder upper part. There would be “Cyclists dismount” signs in some places which no cyclist yet born would take much notice of. The Friends of Alexandra Park have always been against the introduction of a highway through the park which the proposed route would involve.
    Historic England would have to review the proposed changes, if this is pushed through, since this is a grade 2* listed landscape, and are quite likely to reject it after all that officer time and money spent. The coveted Green Flag Award for the park would also be in question if there is a new vehicle route built through it.
    It is questionable whether this would help cyclists much because Upper/ Lower Park Road is a safe and direct route already. For confident cyclists, St Helen’s Road is also a through route to the town and much more direct that what is proposed.
    The key part of the proposed route is Queen’s Road. You could cycle down the park as far as the roundabout on Bethune Way and then encounter real problems. Those pushing for the cycle route have effectively given up on finding a solution to that.
    Hastings is a difficult town for cycling because of the many steep hills and lack of alternatives to the main routes. Building a new road through Alexandra Park offers little by way of solution to the intractable problems here, and would be severely detrimental to pedestrians and all users of this lovely park: fitness enthusiasts, café users, people with small children and disabled people, dog walkers, wildlife watchers and all the rest.

    Comment by Bea — Friday, Jun 22, 2018 @ 10:49

  5. Ore CLT

    Good coverage and expalanation of some contentious issues

    Comment by Ore CLT — Friday, Jun 22, 2018 @ 00:32

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