Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Portrait Bench unveiled – and gravel mystery solved

Tuesday 24 January saw a resolute group of cyclists and others braving the weather to officially open the final link of the Bulverhythe Coastal Link cycle path, along with the Portrait Bench silhouette statue at Bulverhythe. Richard Hull attended the event and took the opportunity to quiz engineers and planners about the surface of the final link section.

As most cyclists are aware the final section of our local section of the National Cycle Network has been open for several weeks, although marked by a curious group of shrouded figures at Glyne Gap. All was revealed at the official opening and unveiling ceremony. The Portrait Bench, commissioned and built by Sustrans, the national sustainable transport charity, shows silhouettes of three local figures who were chosen through a local vote – Richard Ball, BMX rider, Spike Milligan, comedian, and Tyrone Wildman, sportsman. These Portrait Benches are part of the Sustrans ‘Art and the Travelling Landscape’ initiative. The Bulverhythe Portrait Bench is one of the very first sculptures, with over 70 more planned around the National Cycle Network.

Gravel mystery solved…

Whilst of course welcoming the completion of the Hastings-Bexhill path, many cyclists have commented unfavourably on the surface of this final section, running up and over the small cliffs just before Glyne Gap. The surface is currently loose gravel which can cause a bike to skid, or gravel to be sprayed at high speeds.

As a result, some cyclists have chosen not to use this final section, and have been confused because the Coastal Link path had been designed with careful consultation with local cycling campaign groups, Hastings Urban Bikes and Bexhill Wheelers.

Fortunately, Ian Tingley, chief engineer for the project was present at the opening ceremony, and he informed us that the contractors are being recalled to fix the surface, which was intended to be a ‘bonded’ gravel surface, in other words without the current extensive loose gravel. Ah, construction projects – there’s always a snag to be fixed!

Posted 20:51 Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 In: Home Ground

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