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Walkers on the greenway route between Alexandra Park and Conquest Hospital.

Walkers on the greenway route between Alexandra Park and Conquest Hospital.

Greenway walking season kicks off!

Hastings Greenway Group is summoning supporters to join in this year’s first walk for the greenway. They welcome the fact that the project enjoys support from most of the parties in the upcoming local elections, but have found it hard to clarify whether they qualify for a grant from a walking and cycling fund which could help bring the dream closer to reality. Nick Terdre reports. Photos by Tony Polain.

The first public walk of the year will take place on Saturday 24 March along the Hastings Country Park greenway route, covering some two and a half miles from the East Hill to Fairlight. Except for the Barley Lane section, the route is not suitable for wheelchairs, the organiser says; it is one of the aims of the greenway projects to create an all-access, hard-surface route suitable for all users.

Greenways are off-road routes for cyclists, walkers and people getting around in wheelchairs or on disability scooters, according to Hastings Greenway Group.

With local elections looming, the group is pleased to see that their project features in the Labour Party manifesto, as well as enjoying the support of the Greens and LibDems: “We are picking up momentum!” says chairman Tony Polain.

In its manifesto, Labour commits to establishing a “greenway walking and cycling link between Ore Station and Frederick Road,” in addition to initiatives such as promoting cycling in Hastings, installing a cycle route in Alexandra Park and maintaining and developing wheelchair access routes in the town’s parks and open spaces.

A lovely day for a greenway walk...

A lovely day for a greenway walk…

Potential funding

Meanwhile Mr Polain has spent a year trying to track down an East Sussex County Council source of funding which HGG could apply to. This turns out to be the Active Access for Growth  Community Fund, and HGG has been told it is probably eligible for a grant from AAfG’s £50,000 pot.

The grant, worth up to £5,000, would be administered by Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, but Mr Polain has so far been unable to raise a response from them.

On a brighter note, ESCC has applied for a grant for the East-West section of the greenway, which runs between Alexandra Park and the Link Road in Bexhill, from funds allocated by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership. From approval of funding to making the section ready for use is expected to take around four years.

A final decision on the Alexandra Park section of the greenway route should be taken soon, Mr Polain says. Work could have begun last year, following a public consultation and development of the design, but to HGG’s great frustration, the project was effectively put up for review after an intervention by Cllr Godfrey Daniel.

Come and walk the Country Park section of the Hastings Greenway with members of Hastings Greenway Group. Walkers are asked to assemble at the top of the East Hill Lift at 2pm. Walking boots are essential. Buses can be caught from Fairlight church back to Hastings at 3.55 and 4.35pm.

Hastings Greenway Group website and Facebook page. The group can be contacted at info@hastingsgreenway.org.

CP walk 600

This article was amended by Nick Terdre on 19 March 2018.

Posted 06:25 Monday, Mar 19, 2018 In: Campaigns

3 Comments


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT
  1. Bea

    I think that without sorting out priorities, attempting to represent cyclists and walkers together is a recipe for confusion and sometimes conflict. For example the poposed cycle route through alexandra park would have put bikes on what are at the moment purely pedestrian paths, and there was a lot of opposition to this (which i won’t go into).
    In principle i suggest that pedestrian interests should not be sacrificed to cycle routes. Pedestrians are just far more important – there are many times more of them than cyclists – and they include more disadvantaged groups including poorer people, disabled people, elderly, children etc who don’t use bikes but do walk – a lot.
    So cyclists, work out ways to improve facilities that do not encroach on pavements or pedestrian routes generally. I support better cycling and i would prioretise measures for cyclists on the worst roads, eg queens road. I also feel strongly that cyclists have the right to ride on the roads and we should not accerpt that segregated paths are the only way to go.

    Comment by Bea — Friday, Mar 23, 2018 @ 11:53

  2. S Archer

    Excellent, let’s hope for more progress on safe routes.

    Comment by S Archer — Thursday, Mar 22, 2018 @ 15:39

  3. Hastings Greenway

    Great article – thank you, Nick

    Comment by Hastings Greenway — Monday, Mar 19, 2018 @ 17:09

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