Eastbourne’s proposed Station to Seafront cycle link open for consultation

The currently signed cycle route between the Railway station and seafront is proposed to get some physical adjustments to make the cycle route better. Unfortunately nearly all of the cycle route is mixed traffic running along through route residential streets with cycle symbols drawn on the carriageway. However there are new parallel crossings proposed and a section of bi-directional cycle track.

Most of the route is of poor quality, where removal of parking could of resulted in a bi-directional segregated cycle route, instead the option to retaining parking and mixing traffic was chosen instead.

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

The Plan

Some sections have been removed if there is nothing of interest to note.

The route starts at the train station continuing on from the Horsey Way. Those wishing to head south have to dismount to pass in front of the station as the A259 is one-way along Ashford Road, those heading towards Horsey Way from the station may use main carriageway, although no cycle provision is provided except an ASL as current.
There is access to and from the station car park and beyond via a shared use area. Outside the station a new parallel crossing is to be provided, replacing a current unmarked crossing. The cycle part of this crossing appears to be minimal 1.5m allowed, however this shouldn’t be an issue since its only useable in one direction.
Cyclists in both directions then must remain on the carriageway around the roundabout which will have cycle symbols marked on it along with some short sections of advisory cycle lanes.
It then continues along Southfields Road before turning onto Old Orchard Road, again on the carriageway with cycle symbols marked on it. An issue I can see here is that heading south it encourages cyclists to take up the left side on approach to Grove Road (which is a busy road), which may lead to drivers dangerously passing as they cross over the diverge for Grove Road.
The junction of Southfields Road and Old Orchard Road will also be narrowed to improve the accessibility to pedestrians as well as lower motor vehicular speeds.
Along Old Orchard Road, the cycle route remains on carriageway with cycle symbols painted on the road along with a few bits of 1.5m advisory cycle lane.
The route then turns onto Saffrons Road with an odd turn pocket (1.5m) put it. Cars are also able to use this turn, so how it is marked could cause confusion.
At the end of Saffrons Road, the cycle route takes a left and then right along Meads Road and then Grange Road. Narrowing of the carriageway is to take place along with the removal of a narrow central reservation. This should improve accessibility for pedestrians.
Turning pockets (1m) are also to be provided for cyclists, but again motor vehicles are able to use these as well.
The route then turns on Carlisle Road and then onto Wilmington Gardens. Again only with markings on the carriageway, no actual provision provided.
The cycle route then follows along Wilmington Gardens and crosses over Compton Street where new build outs will reduce the crossing width. On Wilmington Square is where the only piece of dedicated cycle infrastructure is. This side of Wilmington Square will to made into one-way street with parking on both sides, the reclaimed space by making it one way along with 1m of the square will be used to create a 3m bi-directional cycle track with a 0.5m buffer to the parked cars. On the sea end of Wilmington square it will then join with the existing on-pavement cycleway.
While this is the best piece of cycle infrasturue on the whole route, it isn’t well designed. Ideally none of the square’s grassy area should become part of the highway, this could be achieved by either making the cycle track one-way with cycle traffic in the other direction using the carriageway as that apparently isn’t an issue with the rest of the route. Or alternatively parking on one side could be removed entirely.
Also after parking a car there is no footway, instead having to use the cycleway or crossing the road.
The current zebra crossing will also be upgraded to a parallel crossing along the existing on-pavement cycle route. When the on-pavement cycle route along here was introduced 8 or so years ago it would of illegally used the zebra crossing as parallel crossings had not yet been approved, which they are now.
The issues I see with the current plans is that the cycle part of it is only 1.5m wide, because it allows two-way cycle traffic it should be at least 2m wide (ideally 3m). Also the zigzags overlap with the marked parking bays.


Lack of segregation from motor vehicles

Most of the route shares space with motor vehicles, segregation is possible along the route by removing parking bays on one side of the road. Where there are cycle lanes they are only advisory and usually 1.5m wide.

Turning Pockets

Turning pockets that are usable for all vehicles show the cycle symbol which may cause confusion. Also around Meads road it is only 1m wide which is not sufficient at all and could be wider since they are narrowing the carriageway here.

Dismount outside station

Having to dismount to use the route outside the station isn’t great. It is possible to remove one of the lanes on Terminus road and provide a bi-directional 3m lane instead.

Widening the Highway at Wilmington Square

The bi-directional cycle track at Wilmington Square removing about 1m of the square could be avoided by either removing the parking, or by making the track one-way as a contraflow with cycles using the main carriageway in the other direction.

Parallel crossing on King Edward’s Parade

The parallel crossing has a narrow cycle crossing part which could cause issues for cyclists travelling in opposite directions. Could be widened to be sufficient width. Also zig zag markings overlap marked parking bays.

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