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Cycle campaign sees riders turn out in droves

July 1, 2011 11:20 AM

A campaign for safe cycle paths linking schools and surrounding communities to the town centre was highlighted at a mass seafront cycle ride recently. The mid-summer ride on Sunday, June 19, was organised by Bespoke, Eastbourne's cycle campaign group which started at the Wish Tower slopes.

The riders were cheered on their way by Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd MP who met the cyclists and expressed his support for the campaign. Mr Lloyd said he was backing Bespoke in its campaign to "pull Eastbourne out of complacency towards becoming a cycle centric town with safe cycle-paths linking schools and surrounding communities to the town centre".

Bespoke campaigner Felicity Goodson said, "We hope the mass ride helps to raise awareness of Eastbourne as a growing town and cyclists are an important aspect of that growth."

The group has already collected more than 1,000 signatures to support a petition calling for safe cycle networks across Eastbourne and says the most contentious point is a seafront cycle path avoiding the lower prom, connecting one end of the town to the other, including numerous schools en-route.

Felicity said, "Bespoke and its supporters are trying to remind the general public that every town and city in this country is inevitably becoming aware of the role in tackling the alarming rise in greenhouse gas emissions as well as the more immediate cost to the local National Health Service due to youth obesity and other restricted-mobility-related diseases.

"We have questioned people who agree that it makes sense to have cycling as an affordable, healthy and safe transport option with more and more people, mostly children, taking to their bikes. However, due to the lack of safe cycle paths in Eastbourne, this town breeds nervous cyclists taking to pavements, creating nervous pedestrians, all due to the fear of motor vehicle-dominated roads."