The final section of Horsey Way Cycleway in Eastbourne has been opened for consultation, and the plans in general are lacking in provisions for cyclists in all ways. The majority of the plan is to provide a widened footway and a few dropped kerbs in places to provide for cyclists, with it lacking in priority throughout and mixing with general traffic in much of the scheme. In comparison to the rest of Horsey Way, phase 1B is by far the worst.

The plans are open for consultation from the 16th August to the 24th September if you wish to make your comments.

The Plan

It starts beside the train station where it will connect to another cycle route scheme in this consultation called “Town Centre”. For this first section it runs on a recently widened footway which was done a few years ago as part of the Station’s public realm scheme. It already has some tactile paving in place suggesting it is a cycleway, although lacks signs. The footway ranges from 4m to 3m wide and should be okay as a shared space, although its proximity to the train station would suggest high pedestrian usage at times. There is priority for the footway (and to be cycleway) over Junction Road by means of give way lines, ideally this should become a parallel crossing to be more compliant with standards.
Beyond Susans Road the footway will be widened to the same width and turned into a shared space, again about 3m wide. Unfortunately there is no priority over Susans Road.
The cycleway continues along the Northern sided Ashford Road where it crosses over to the Southern side beyond Cavendish Place. Again the pavement will be widened to provide a shared space about 3m wide.
The way the cycle route interacts with this junction is the worst possible. Not only do cycles have to potentially wait for two traffic signal cycles to pass before continuing on their way, but they should also dismount between the crossings due to being narrow (maybe narrow within the highway boundary, but there is paved area between the highway boundary and buildings…)
What should be done here is have a single diagonal crossing (like a “scramble”) so cyclists only have to cross in a single phase. This should be possible to deliver within the highway boundary and without dismounting. There are also some places where cycles can join the carriageway from the cycleway.
The cycleway continues up a shared use pavement along the Eastern side of Cavendish Avenue. At Bourne Street it crosses without priority. New bus stop cages are also provided.
Ideally Bourne Street should get a raised crossing or closed off to motor vehicles as it provides parallel access as Cavendish Place, so it is redundant as a motor vehicular route.
The cycleway continues up a shared use pavement along the Eastern side of Cavendish Avenue . At Belmore Road, a raised table is provided to reduce motor vehicular speeds, however in contradiction a wider turning radius is provided which encourages high travel speeds.
Where Cavendish Avenue meets Firle Road the cycle route turns into a mess again. Those traveling north are expected to cross over the road to the opposite side, and then cross over Dursley Road before joining a short section of shared use pavement on the Western side, both without any priority. While those traveling south use the carriageway beside parked cars.
Due to geometrical constraints, it is hard to come up with a good solution here, but it would be better if the marked parking bays were replaced with a segregated cycle track, and a parallel crossing provided to cross over to the Western side for those traveling Northbound.
At the traffic signal controlled junction of Firle Road & Whitley Road some changes are proposed, although due to geometrical restraints, these are very limited. Heading North along the route, the shared cycleway rejoins the carriageway prior to the junction as a narrow cycle lane. This will lead cyclists into the Advance Stop Line which appears to be both enlarged and coloured, while the width is not great it will allow cyclists to get to the front of the queue. Cyclists are then to continue ahead onto Stansted Road. Heading South from Stansted Lane there isn’t much changed as cyclists remain on the main carriageway with no cycle provision other than an ASL.
The traffic signals here were recently upgraded to include LLCS, although it is unclear if these will have an early green light for cyclists.
The cycle route then continues north via Stanstead Road which will then connect onto Waterworks Road. Currently this is blocked off with a kerb and post bollards. A dropped kerb will be provided here to allow the filtering of cyclists in addition to pedestrians that current have access.
The route then follows Waterworks Road, Moy Road, Courtlands Road & Ringwood Road on carriageway with no cycle provision to meet with the rest of Horsey Way Cycleway.


Lack of segregation between pedestrians & cyclists

Where the route isn’t mixed with motor traffic, it is almost entirely mixed with pedestrians. This usually isn’t a problem in areas with minimal pedestrians such as in rural environments, however much of the shared use area would also be subjected to moderate levels of pedestrians. This is especially an issue as much of the cycleway isn’t proposed to be wider than 3m usually with adjacent boundary walls/fences on one side and parked cars on the other, making the actual useable with the of the cycleway less than 2 metres – just about enough for two cyclists/pedestrians to pass each other.

Lack of segregation from motor vehicles

Nearly half of the cycle route is on the main carriageway with motor vehicles, some of this is acceptable like on Stansted Road, however the section along Waterworks Road, Moy Road & Courtlands Road should be avoided.

Lack of priority at junctions

Along the 1.8km scheme, there are 10 junctions/side roads. Only 1 has cycle/foot priority across it (by giveway lines), 1 has a raised crossing with no priority and 2 are traffic signal controlled (1 as toucan, 1 as mixed traffic). There are 6 other crossings which have no improvement for cyclists or pedestrians. Some of these could be closed while the others should get either a parallel crossing and/or a raised crossing.

Ashford Road / Cavendish Place Junction

The arrangement of crossing twice and dismounting between the crossings is the worst attempt possible at this junction. It should be possible to provide one crossing diagonally across the junction which would fix both issues, the junction at the moment should operate as a single pedestrian crossing phase, so this would not negatively impact on any aspect.

Firle Road arrangement

How both the Northbound and Southbound cycle routes interact with Firle Road is terrible. It should be possible to provide cycle provision going southbound by removing the parking spaces, and a better crossing to the other side of the road while going northbound is also possible by putting in a parallel crossing.