Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

The pavement between Warrior Square and London Road, one of two footway widening projects proposed for Hastings.

Modest active travel measures proposed for Hastings

With a first-round allocation of £479,000 from the transport ministry’s active travel fund, East Sussex County Council is now awaiting approval from the ministry for the measures it has proposed. Nick Terdre reports.

The £250m pot announced last month by transport minister Grant Shapps to promote active travel – walking and cycling – is being shared out between councils with highways responsibility in two rounds. East Sussex County Council’s share in the first round is £479,000.

The immediate effect of government funding to promote active travel in Hastings looks set to be modest. The measures put forward by ESCC for Department for Transport approval comprise widening of the footpath on the north side of the A259 between Warrior Square and London Road and on the south side of Pelham Place, in the latter case by suspending some parking bays and using temporary barriers.

Five schemes have been proposed for Rother, four of them in Bexhill: footway widening at the junction of Buckhurst Place and Sackville Road; closure of Western Road and of one lane in Devonshire Road; and improved marking in the advisory cycle lane in Cooden Drive. In Rye the closure of the High Street between 10am and 4pm has been proposed.

Specific proposals for Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden include temporary cycleways and routes, road closures and footway widening.

County-wide measures proposed by ESCC include signage to encourage social distancing, social distancing messaging on footpaths at bus stops and the installation of temporary cycle parking racks.

The footpath on the south side of Pelham Place is to be widened.

Working together

ESCC said it had “worked with district and borough councils and sought suggestions from local cycling and walking groups to identify possible temporary schemes.”

One of the conditions set by the DfT is that all schemes be deliverable within eight weeks.

The measures, which the county council hopes to have in place by September, will “allow people to social distance and … support businesses to open outdoor spaces and enable their customers to queue safely,” it said.

“With a limited amount of funding, we are unable to submit all the schemes that came forward,” said Cllr Claire Dowling, the lead member for transport and environment. “The measures we are submitting for approval strike a careful balance between supporting businesses in their recovery and keeping the public safe.

“While we have submitted specific schemes, we have also put forward countywide measures that will enable more walking and cycling across key towns, market towns and village centres and encourage social distancing.”

Making a difference

“We have already seen a significant increase in the number of people walking and cycling in the county and, if approved, the schemes that are put forward will make a real difference to those people choosing active ways to travel and exercise.”

“We will continue to work with district and borough councils and partners to look at possible schemes to include in the second round of funding, which could include bringing forward agreed capital schemes and measures we haven’t been able to include in this submission,” Cllr Dowling said.

Any suggestions not included in the first round will be considered as part of the second round, about which ESCC says it hopes to find out more soon.

HOT is awaiting comments from HBC.

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Posted 18:48 Thursday, Jun 11, 2020 In: Home Ground


  1. Jo Bob

    For the people complaining about these proposals, why don’t you join the council yourself and try and make a change to our town? Perhaps try and get companies and lobbyists to donate? As the current government won’t fund Hastings.

    Comment by Jo Bob — Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 @ 18:47

  2. Tim Barton

    ‘supporting businesses in their recovery’, they said, whilst almost doubling all in-town parking ticket prices

    Comment by Tim Barton — Thursday, Jun 18, 2020 @ 11:18

  3. Penny

    Hey ho! How do they dream them up? Is it a contest in local government offices to see who can think of the silliest schemes to get past both the elected and electors?
    I look forward to dodging yet more cyclists as I stroll along the promenade.

    Comment by Penny — Thursday, Jun 18, 2020 @ 09:50

  4. Captain Reality

    It defies belief , but surprises me no longer, just how rubbish this council is at maintaining the basic infrastructure of this town, past the bare minimum required.
    I agree with the comments made so far, regarding the terrible state of the footpaths and roads at present, and a bit of tarmac here and there to fill the worst potholes now and again is just not adequate.
    Something tells me that this is yet another set up, for when complete, is a perfect photo op ‘look what I did for the good of Hastings’ idea, for the individuals responsible for this hare brain idea, when you look at whats desperately needed in places right now.
    The countless excuses of lack of funds, cuts by government etc by those in charge of this councils, just show consistent bad management, cock ups and subterfuge of a town that could be so great, but never quite gets there.
    Held back by narcissistic individuals ‘doing great things’ but actually not, playing at being commercial property magnates and wasting so much money doing so, and telling us how great it’ll be.
    Shutting down all avenues for transparency and recourse for residents who want to stop this nonsense, and really make this town great.
    Is this the legacy of the last HBC leader? Who now happens to be our council financial controller, go figure, it doesn’t take a genius…

    Comment by Captain Reality — Thursday, Jun 18, 2020 @ 06:16

  5. Stewart Rayment

    Having tripped on Hastings’ inadequate footpaths three times in the last year, I’d say the first thing to do is maintain them properly. I see no particular value in either of the projects put forward for Hastings. Have ESCC Highways Officers ever visited the town?

    Comment by Stewart Rayment — Tuesday, Jun 16, 2020 @ 17:26

  6. Alison

    I am sure there must have been better ideas than these submitted. What is being suggested does seem pointless. I think it would be better for Hastings’ share of the money to be spent on mending potholes, so that Cyclists can navigate the roads safely.

    Comment by Alison — Monday, Jun 15, 2020 @ 13:51

  7. Dave Young

    How about completely relaying the lethally loose and uneven pavement on both sides of Kings Road which is in appalling condition? (In stark contrast to Lewes, where, entirely by co-oincidence, ESCC has its HQ…)

    Comment by Dave Young — Monday, Jun 15, 2020 @ 11:06

  8. Chris Lewcock

    What a bizarre couple of almost entirely pointless proposals. Take two of the widest stretches of footway and make them wider. If this was what Hastings proposed to East Sussex to go forward what were they thinking of? Were they thinking at all? Excellent proposals submitted by HUB and others have been completely ignored.

    Comment by Chris Lewcock — Monday, Jun 15, 2020 @ 07:17

  9. James

    This is rubbish! Why is nothing more being done in Hastings to create space? Across the country there are schemes being built right now, why nothing here!

    Comment by James — Saturday, Jun 13, 2020 @ 09:42

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