Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Green Party canvassing 2018

Green Party canvassing 2018

Transport poverty in Hastings can be changed

Road planning in our town denies access to many residents. Those who do not have a car and rely on pedestrian routes, buses or bike routes are definitely getting a poor deal in Hastings. Transport poverty exists in our community and goes unrecognised. Green Party candidate for Tressell, Catherine Taylor writes.

As a Green Councillor in Tressell ward I will challenge this inequality. Studies show improvements in child health by walking daily and I will work to find ways to help families to walk to school. One third of children in the borough are overweight, and walking would help tackle this as well as reducing school-run traffic.

There are already paths and routes in use that when joined together and sign-posted will make a circular route around the town. The work of Hastings Greenway group for over 15 years has now resulted in a set of ready to go planned and surveyed routes just waiting for funding.

Hastings Greenway will suit walkers of all abilities and be fully accessible for the disabled as well as those with buggies and bikes. Hastings Borough Council has adopted the Greenway idea, and in 2016 approved a section of it with a new cycle route through Alexandra Park. This link between Silverhill and Queens Rd has yet to be built. HBC has little to say on this when asked. This is after a public consultation and a cabinet decision to go ahead with the cycle route but there has been no progress since early 2016.

27-Catherine-Taylor-3x4Safe cycling and walking in the town will bring benefits to the whole town in accessibility and health. Opening the Greenway in Hastings will provide access for many who currently live in transport poverty. With 25% of all adults not walking for any local trips urgent action is needed to reverse these figures.

Over 10 years ago HBC promised to trial a cycle route along Robertson Street through to Queens Road. This would require a change to local bye-laws and new signage. No other changes are needed to make this link between the Pier and Queens Road but it has not even had a trial and questions to the council remain unanswered.

Hastings Bike Lab, Hastings Urban Bikes and the Sustainable Transport Forum are working together to press both HBC and East Sussex County Council for action to make our town a safer, healthier place to live. Hastings needs a vision for transport; the Green Party has one.

Posted 15:14 Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018 In: Local Elections 2018


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  1. Keith Piggott (Icarus)

    Check out the Dutch road priority for cyclists, with dedicated cycle lanes. Our children learned good practices there, unlike UK. In London our daughter with baby pillion several times bumped or knocked down by careless even abusive motorists.

    Comment by Keith Piggott (Icarus) — Thursday, May 10, 2018 @ 18:43

  2. Bea

    Can I mention priorities? I suggest that by far the most important issue here is buses: better services especially in the evenings and Sundays, lower fares, bus lanes to speed up the vehicles and improve reliability.

    Second, there is walking: Hastings is full of barriers to pedestrians and there are many junctions that are difficult to navigate if you are on foot. Pedestrians also need the pavements to be kept clear of obstacles, and not have to give way to cyclists, scoters, skateboards etc etc.

    Third and last is cycling. For people coping with poverty this is not a crucial issue and few of them would even have a bike. For “Green transport” to mean only cycle routes is the wrong priority, I suggest. Dedicated routes are good in principle but very difficult in practice, and many of the proposals mean taking cyclists along pedestrian routes. Tactically, we should be insisting on our right to cycle on all the roads, and promoting good driver and cyclist behaviour to make this safer.

    Comment by Bea — Friday, Apr 27, 2018 @ 10:46

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